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April 2006
Published Monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization.
Artist Profile: Pleasant Grove
Hyunmee Lee: Intimacy Without Restraint
by Jim Edwards

Confronting the paintings of Hyunmee Lee, what impresses is their celebration of gesture and depiction of a nearly unlimited sense of space. Abstract and intuitively painterly, her aesthetic is one of immediacy perpetually seeking its own nature. Her marks as gesture, either as broadly applied brush strokes or swiftly rendered lines applied with an oil stick or a china marker, weave in and out of amorphous fields of paint. Scale is important, and in her recent paintings, the square format of her canvases (either eight foot or one foot) suggests other than merely a window view into the seen world.

The legacy of Lee's paintings incorporates ancient and modern forms of Asian calligraphy, 20th-century forms of abstraction, including European Art Informal or Tachism, American Abstract Expressionism and the Korean Monochrome movement. She studied calligraphy with her grandfather and by the age of five was deemed the best amongst her brothers and sisters. In Asian cultures, the study of calligraphy is considered an important part of one's education. It starts in childhood and often becomes a lifelong practice as an art form. The tools of calligraphy - the brush, ink, and paper - are basically the same as those used in traditional forms of Asian painting. In essence, calligraphy is an abstract art, judged as much for its beauty, grace, and energy, as for the single words or characters that the calligraphic ideogram signifies. Lee has acknowledged the importance of her early training in calligraphy and her respect for the Korean Ink painters, including Soe Se-Ok, whose significant calligraphic gesture was important to contemporary Korean artists.

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Collector Feature
My 3rd Reason for Collecting Art
by Tom Alder

Whenever someone asks me how I go about collecting early Utah art, I tell them my three rules: 1) I must like the particular artwork, 2) I must admire the artist and 3) (optional) an interesting story or provenance connected to the particular work of art will strengthen my decision to purchase it. My interest in early Utah art began when I was a child in the 1950s. My parents took me to the annual Spring Salon at the Springville Museum of Art where we would take in the wonderful shows of Utah's current crop of strong art talent. Mom routinely stopped by some of her favorites from the permanent collection. I became familiar with Dallin, Harwood, Stewart, Barkdull and others.

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Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
Poker in the Front at the UNK
Pyper Hugos, Jarrod Eastman, Justin Angelos and Jeremy Herridge.
by Shawn Rossiter

A local Salt Lake City artist has been giving artwork away for free -- up to one hundred pieces last year alone. But you won't find any of that work around town. It has been going to the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and all over the United States.

Jeremy Herridge, director of Salt Lake's Unknown Gallery, started his "Free Art Campaign" as a way of giving back to the online community that helped inspire him to get back into art making. Herridge is showing this month in a four-person show at the Unknown Gallery, and though the work there isn't free it is certainly reasonably priced. He will be showing with Montana artists Pyper Hugos, who creates wall-hangings using found object scrap metal, and Jarrod Eastman, a pop-surrealist painter, and Pleasant Grove's Justin Angleos (below), a multi-media artist inspired by street art as well as canonical figures like Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg. Poker in the Front, as the show is titled, shows four very different artists each showing artwork that the average gallery-goer may not be comfortable with at first viewing. But this is the type of exhibition you get when you use Myspace as your networking tool.

Newseek recently ran its cover story on Myspace and other community-oriented sites which have become a dominant presence on the web; and Time's cover story the week before touched on a similar subject. Herridge mentions Myspace a little bit sheepishly at first, knowing the bad rap the networking space has been getting in some circles. But, he points out that it is a great tool to get connected to people with similar interests. He used Myspace when putting together Unknown's second annual Board Show, which was up in January, and it was through that show that he found the other three artists in this month's exhibit. And it was another community-oriented site -- devoted to stencil art -- that inspired Herridge's recent art making and resulted in his world-wide, no-strings-attached, dissemination of free art.

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