November 2006
Page 9   

Up and Upcoming
Up and Upcoming to the North
Thea Schrack

Julie Nester Gallery UP: A Sense of Place, an exhibition of recent artwork by Candice Eisenfeld and Thea Schrack through December 26. This show brings together two artists who are using contemporary techniques to produce fresh interpretations of landscape art. Candice Eisenfeld’s use of a lush color palette and artistic aesthetic were influenced by the Hudson River School. Eisenfeld works with acrylic paint, applying it in thin layers on wood panels. The paint is varnished to deepen the hues, a process that gives her paintings a luminous and aged quality. Although painted on a single panel, the pieces are segmented as diptychs or triptychs -- her brooding landscapes are paired with equally ethereal abstracts. The result is work that is steeped in metaphor and layered in meaning. Rather than depicting a specific locale in her paintings, her focus has been to evoke a sense of place inherent within the painting process. The landscapes are invented, and often referenced from photographs taken during travels. Her landscapes often show the environment as it moves from one state of being to another: the sun dipping just below the horizon, storm clouds gathering overhead, a foggy fall morning.

While Eisenfeld’s paintings are inspired by photographic images, Thea Schrack is an artist that starts with color photographs printed with archival pigment inks which are then combined with a number of layers of encaustic wax. This process transforms the original photograph, resulting in artwork that looks more like a painting than a photograph. Schrack’s images include lake and river views, fruit trees and majestic oaks. In describing her body of work Schrack writes, “In a canoe, mid January: bare trees/cold/overcast/enchanting. This series began on the Consumnes River, a wild brackish wilderness and branched out into the farmlands and waterways of the California Delta and now far beyond.”

There is an ease to Schrack’s work; the images seem to be about memory and the transformation of fact into a kind of dreamscape. The works are reassuring and peaceful; a few of the paintings use a river as the central focus, drawing the viewer into the photograph. The encaustic wax softens the photographic detail making the image less real, more of a memory or something from one’s imagination.

Kimball Art Center UP: Best in Show: Works by David Gilhooly, William Wegman and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen, a group exhibition organized by the Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art that celebrates the relationship between humans and dogs seen through the distinct styles and media of these three well-known artists.

Montgomery Lee Fine Art UP: New paintings by Mike Malm.

Chester’s Blacksmith Shop UP: My Lonesome Crowded West: Paintings by Robert Mars, a new series of collage-based paintings. By utilizing brown paper bags, house paint, vintage newspapers, and photographs taken from his travels, Mars’ collages are a style all his own. Packed with the vibrant colors of the seasons and contrasted to stark black imagery, his pieces are a visual memory lane to all who have traveled America’s open roads. Also debuting will be a selection from Mars' other artistic outlet, Construct Clothing, a series of small edition artist tees and hoodies. The current series is a throwback to his childhood of weekend trips to the New York Museum of Natural History.

Terzian Gallery UPCOMING: Friday, December 29, 2006 Figurative Painters Emily McPhie and Patricia Kimball.

Meyer Gallery UP: The Meyer Gallery brings a new body of work by Utah artist Douglas Aagard. Aagard is primarily a self-taught artist, though the masterful approach he takes to his palette knife shows years of determination and diligence in his art.

Eccles Community Art Center UP: During December, the Main and Carriage House Galleries will be filled with the art of Utah artists for an Invitational Exhibit. Invited artists include Richard Barker, Errin W. Berrett, Robert Call, Brandon Cook, Joe Deru, Robin Farr, Kory Fluckiger, Jerry Hancock, Shanna Kunz, Debra Marin, Arlene Muller, Leslie Salinas, Steven Sheffield, Mac Stevenson, Steve Songer, Sue Valentine, Scott Wallis and other local artists and craftsmen.

Gallery at the Station UP: Paintings by Mac Stevenson and wood turnings by Joe Deru through December.

Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery UP: WSU 2D and 3D Faculty Exhibition through December 15, showcasing the work of visual arts faculty in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture.

Universe City (2556 Washington Blvd 458-8959): UP: New paintings by LeRoy Jennings, as well as prints will be featured in the Gallery. Additional gift items by several local artists will be available in the Studio. The exhibit will run through December 16th, Fridays, 5:00-8:00; Saturdays, from noon-8:00 pm. Private appointments to view the exhibit individually or as a group tour or a party can be made by calling 458-8959. Jennings’s new work includes large evocative landscapes and well as near photographic smaller works. His work praises local landscapes, seasonal light and substantial rocks, whether they are in a stream or composing the quartzite cliffs of the Ogden segment of the Wasatch Range. The Studio will feature a number of artists, including native wood items by David Wolfgram, turned bowls by Mike Hyer, fabric art by Catherin Zublin, semi-precious stone jewelry by 21st Century Barbarians (Caril Jennings), posters by Leia Bell, and other artists producing silver jewelry, clothing, posters, prints, photos and a few unusual gift items. In addition, LeRoy will have a number of unframed painting studies available for sale at reduced prices.

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art UP: Deadly Sins/Measured Virtues: Recent Work of Alice Leora Briggs. Briggs' work is part of the contemporary revival of figurative realism in American art. Combining art historical references, medical illustrations, candid photographs and drawings, Briggs uses a method of incising a material called clayboard with India ink to create richly detailed drawings and mixed media installations.

Bullen Center Gallery UP: An exhibit of art by students participating in a study abroad program in Germany with Chris Terry this summer. The group was immersed in the study of art of the region and completed a number of assignment while there. Most of the work on display is small and was completed on location in Germany. Through December 22.


BDAC UPCOMING: BDAC Annual Holiday Show and Sale through December 23rd.

Lamplight Art Gallery (170 S. Main, Bountiful, 298-0290) UP: Pastels by Thomas F. Rogers.

Special: Holiday Recently Read
Holiday Gift Suggestions

The following were submitted by readers of 15 Bytes as suggestions for the artists/art lovers on your holiday gift list.

77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno
If you didn't make it to this year's Venice Biennale, here is your chance to own one of the works. 77 Million Paintings, by Brian Eno, is a 52-page book, a short DVD and a disc of software that will run on most computers.

Brian Eno is probably best known as a musician and producer (U2, Talking Heads and others), but his formal education was as a painter. For nearly 30 years, he has been creating art installations featuring light and music all over the globe. 77 Million Paintings takes advantage of the larger screens (of both television and computer) that are beginning to appear in our homes. Eno thinks that these often-blank rectangles should be used for slowly evolving works of art.

The software uses a large number of hand created, abstract images that combine and overlap in the 77 million possible combinations of the title. It is like having a slowly changing work that is never the same. The fact that almost all of the images are created by hand (rather than digitally) keeps the work from appearing as an elaborate screen saver. Depending on the type of computer that you have, it also features a constantly evolving ambient soundtrack. It is interesting to have a piece that seems static if viewed for a short time but if you walk away and return, it has become something new. It is that change and surprise that keeps this work interesting. Keeping in the tradition of works of art, 77 Million Paintings is available as a limited (10,000!) edition.
-- Ed Bateman

The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe
This book is not simply about one of the most important movements in art, French Impressionism, but it gives a detailed glimpse into the lives of the Impressionist artists themselves and how their lives were intertwined. It's an in-depth and fascinating look into the major figures of Impressionism; Manet, Pisarro, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Bazille, Cezanne, Degas, Morisot, and Cassatt. The really unique thing that I don't think a lot of books cover is how the artists were supportive of each other and the friendships they forged. The book delves into the time period and the struggles the artists went through since most of them didn't sell their work in their lifetimes.

Should be on your must read list if you are an art historian or art buff.
-- Shilo Jackson

The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece, by Johnathan Harr
This non-fiction work reads like a novel due to Harris's skillful handling of multiple characters and their narratives. The reader sets off on a detective journey in Rome with an art student who discovers an obscure reference to "The Taking of Christ," a long lost Caravaggio painting. Progressing through labyrinthian archives while meeting fascinating characters afflicted with the "Caravaggio disease," I learned a great deal about establishing the provenance of paintings, restoration of art works, art scholars, and the mercurial Caravaggio himself. A compelling read!
-- Sheryl Gillilan

I "recently read." again, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh, edited by Mark Roskill. Each time I skip the memoir and read the letters; I love the editors chronological selections.
-- Erin W. Berrett

For more gift ideas, check out our Recently Read columns from 2006:
FEBRUARY: Jonathan Harr's The Lost Painting
MARCH: Art and the Power of Placement
APRIL: DADA: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris
JUNE: The Biology of Seeing
JULY: Unnatural Wonders
OCTOBER: The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult

Arts Ogden