March 2006
Page 7
Up & Upcoming: SLC Galleries
What's Up and Upcoming
Compiled by 15 Bytes Staff. Unless otherwise noted, UPCOMING shows begin February Gallery Stroll, March 17, with a reception 6 to 9 pm.

The biggest news for the local art scene this month doesn't have so much to do with a place where art is shown, but where it is made. After five years Brad Slaugh's Poor Yorick Studios, located at 530 West 700 South is closing up shop. Like the Studios' namesake, Shakespeare's Danish court jester whose bones are dug up to make room for a new corpse, the studios are being forced to move out (by increased rents rather than a sexton's spade).

But before they go, the artists of Poor Yorick will be holding one last open house on March 10, from 6 to 10pm. Since taking up residence in the warehouse they have called home, the artists of Poor Yorick have held semi-annual openings which have always proven to be filled with "infinite jest," "excellent fancy," and art of all styles. The openings, jammed with plenty of students down from the University and the riffs and beats of live bands, are usually held in conjunction with the SLGA's Gallery Stroll, though the partying and art usually lasts much longer than at your average gallery.

This year, though, Poor Yorick is breaking with tradition, holding the Open Studio a week early to give everyone -- including those usually manning a gallery -- a chance to see what all the fuss has been about. And former Poor Yorickers have been invited to come back and hang work alongside the current artists.

Brad Slaugh, owner and manager of Poor Yorick, is in the process of looking for a new resting place for the many artists shortly to become homeless by the closing of the space on 7th South. This time he is looking to buy a buy a building and has a deal in the works but doesn't want to reveal the location until it is a done deal. Come to the opening on March 10th, though, and he says he'll have something -- "trippingly on the tongue" -- to reveal.

UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: Revisiting Utah’s Past, on view at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts through July 23, 2006, presents paintings and sculpture from the Museum’s collection that document Utah’s unique history. In pess rendered their subjects with meaning that gives insight into the society in which they worked.

3W GALLERY (159 West 300 South, Salt Lake City open Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm) UP: Details: Photography by Deborah Scanlon Fitts through March 31st, with an artist's reception Friday, March 17th, from 6pm to 9pm

VISAGE SALON (2006 S. 900 E., 860-4333) The exhibit of new paintings by Erin Westenskow Berrett will be on display from March 14 through April 17, 2006. Erin Berrett graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Fine Art. She continues to paint and reside in Salt Lake City. “The momentum of my creative process is still life studies and photographs, which I interpret, translate, and recombine into an everyday image," the artist says. "I blend an instinctive internal logic and sense of order with my formal study of value and structure to create visually attractive and successful paintings.” For more information call Kacie Hersh at 860-4333.

ART ACCESS GALLERY: UP: Confluence Point, featuring the work of two Logan artists, Dan Murphy and Koichi Yamamoto (see page 6). Art Access II is pleased to host the Cat/astrophe, paintings of Salt Lake artist, David Ruhlman. Ruhlman's newest paintings deal with a series of 10 injured cats. According to the artist, these cats manifested themselves after he viewed a photography exhibit dealing with the children of Chernobyl. The exhibit saddened and depressed him. Ruhlman created his Cat/astrophe Paintings on found children's chalkboards.

HORNE FINE ART, on the occasion of its third anniversary, presents two shows, both opening on Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2006 and continuing through March.
WALL OF WASSMERS – CELEBRATING TED’S 96th BIRTHDAY – featuring over 40 works by Utah’s oldest producing artist, showing the range of his recent creativity, including gold leaf series, poetic figure groupings, and evocative monotypes. BLOOMS, a group show of floral and garden paintings. This show brings together established artists as well as newcomers.

UTAH CULTURAL CELEBRATION CENTER ART GALLERY In conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Cecil B. Demille film The Ten Commandments, the Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City is hosting an exhibit featuring eight decades of the art of Arnold Friberg including The Ten Commandments series. Through May 26.

PHILLIPS GALLERY: UP: Tom Howard and Lindey Carter. Howard's landscapes continue to capture those looking for solace in their surroundings. Howard says of his work, "It is in the simplicity of the open landscape, inspired by its visual splendor, apart from the accountability and obligations of society that I feel more free to allow my thoughts and hopes to explore their limits. In truth, I never really feel completely alone in the remoteness of the open landscape. There is always a quiet yet profound sense of companionship." Lindey Carter is a new comer to the gallery scene. (for an interview, see page 4). UPCOMING: Small works of Hyunmee Lee, also showing at the UMFA (see page 1).

PATRICK MOORE GALLERY UP: Shawn Rossiter Choice & Chance. Twenty pastel drawings exploring abstracted landscape and figurative themes. In addition, new collage work incorporating found materials exploring the political, the personal, the religious and the artistic. And in the Red Room, Don Thorpe's Impressionistc photography with scenes of France.

SALT LAKE ART CENTER UP: Sophie Matisse: Be Back in 5 Minutes & Zebra Paintings ; Robert Motherwell: Te Quiero; Defference to Deffebach Through May 6.

review by Shawn Rossiter

The current exhibit of works by Robert Motherwell at the Salt Lake Art Center is a coup for the state's foremost venue for modernist and contemporary art and may prove to be the most important exhibition of this year.

Motherwell was one of the most important artists of one of the most important art movements of the 20th Century and to see over forty of his works in Salt Lake City is a welcome feast for the eyes, the intellect and the heart.

The New York School, or as many of its members are more popularly termed, the Abstract Expressionists, were a pivotal movement in the history of art. Stylistically, they represented a culmination of much of what went on in modern art in the first half of the twentieth century. As a historical movement, they were the magnetic force that transformed the poles of the international art world from Paris and other European cities, to its new home, New York. Much of what has come out of the New York art world since, including minimalism, performance art, and pop art, has, in one form or another, been in reaction to the space carved out by this group of men (and in the second generation, women) from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Motherwell was one of the most verbally eloquent and visually lyrical of this group. Though this exhibit does not come close to giving an adequate view of the artist's accomplishment, it does reveal many of his central concerns and brings together works from a variety of periods.

The central and largest piece of the exhibit, what curator Jim Edwards calls the "keystone piece," is "Elegy to the Spanish Republic #126." Motherwell often worked in series and the series of work known as the Elegies is his most famous, most enduring and most numerous. This elegy is not the favorite of the one’s I’ve seen. It seems to rely too much on a central axis and balanced lines and lacks the vitality in some of his other works. But still, as I sat front of it for the better part of an hour while Edwards and Education Curator, Jay Heuman, discussed the New York School at a recent Art Talk, I was impressed by the simplicity and yet grand sweep of the piece.

Motherwell's aesthetics originated with the Surrealists, from whom he learned the practice of automatic drawing, which was the basis for the basic forms in the Elegies. The dynamism of these works is that the calligraphy of a small automatic drawing becomes writ large on a monumental scale (Elegy #126 is 80" x 106"). Motherwell takes the arcs and curves created by the twist of the wrist and fingers and writes them large with the sweep of the elbow and shoulder.

Unfortunately, the Elegy is the only work of considerable size in the exhibit. And size was important for Motherwell. As Edwards pointed out at the Art Talk, Motherwell himself saw the scale of Abstract Expressionism (which could often be measured in feet rather than inches) as one of its defining features. The large format of these artists challenged the centuries long intimacy of painting that characterized much of the French school.

What the Robert Motherwell: Te Quiero exhibit does show is that abstract expressionism could be about intimacy as much as is it could be about scale. The title "Te Quiero" comes from one of the pieces in the exhibit, a collage work that was part of the artist's "Je t'aime" (I love you) series.

I think the strongest pieces in this exhibit are the collage works, which vary from mixed media pieces with found materials to straightforward designs created by torn paper. Motherwell was fond of incorporating into his collages materials from objects -- the boxes from his favorite cigarettes, book sleeves from his favorite publishing house -- which were dear to him. "Te Quiero" features torn paper from a New York framer. "Picayune" includes cigarette wrappings. The collages are small in scale and the materials from the artist's own environment make them intimate in way that his grand gestures in paint are not.

Also on exhibit are a numbr of gesture drawings, done in ink. Though many of these are very interesting, they seem to be diminished in seeing them all together in a grid, much more like the repetitive associations of contemporary art than the romanticism associated with the New York School. The exhibit also includes some flat color field paintings from the artist's "Open Windows" series in the late sixties and seventies.

Showing concurrently with the Motherwell exhibit is Deference to Deffebach, an exhibit of works by the local Utah artist who passed away last year. Deffebach studied abstract art in New York in the 1950s and became part of the second generation of abstract expressionists. She became a masterful adapter of the visual vocabulary of the New York School and used it to create her own art that could be as frantic and energized as something like "Sea Change" from 1964 or as sparse and calming as "Genesis 5" from 1996, both in the exhibit.

Deffebach’s works are on display in the Projects Gallery. Located around a corner from the Motherwell exhibit and with very dark walls, the Gallery gave me the sense of entering a tomb or mausoleum. Whatever the effect, though, Deffebach's works are shown off marvelously. Most of the pieces are from the past fifteen years, and the exhibit could by no means be considered a retrospective, but the pieces on exhibit aptly show off Deffebach's abilities. My favorite is "Lion's Gate," a squarish canvas in thinly layered sheets of yellow and brown that seems to float on the surface of the walls.

Oftentimes seeing the work of a lesser known artist next to those of a "master" is a disservice to the former, but these two exhibits show that Deffebach's work can hold its own next to Motherwell's; and in the case of the specific works now on display Deffebach may even shine a bit brighter than her first generation counterpart.

Visit the Salt Lake Art Center web page for information about their Art Talk programs in conjunction with this exhibit, including one this evening, March 1st.

GROUTAGE GALLERY UP: Brad Wahlquist and Chuck Parsons, showing limited edition photographs and fine hand-crafted ceramics through March 14. Brad Wahlquist produces unique and interpretive urban landscapes that can only be described as painting with light. His moody and thoughtful pieces reflect his hours of creative work in the darkroom. Chuck Parsons, a Utah native, currently works out of the Red Kiln pottery studio, where he also teaches wheel thrown pottery classes. He has previously shown his work in group shows at the Salt Lake Art Center and the Red Kiln Studio Gallery.

MODERN8 UP: Mendelsberg and Singleton. Martin Mendelsberg's Holocaust Portfolio displays a number of digital images using photographs and prayers recited by the Jews before their demise in the death camps. Peder Singleton uses diverse typographic forms from Utah's urban landscapes.

UTAH CENTER FOR THE ARTS SLC Photo Club Exhibit What Makes Utah at the Utah Center for the Arts through April 10th. (see review SL Weekly).

UTAH ARTIST HANDS: UP: Szugye . . . Vogue. Artwork inspired by the jazz scene of the 1920s and 30s. .

WOMEN'S ART CENTER:UP: Large paintings by Holly Mae Pendergast.

ALICE GALLERY UP: Abstraction featuring Andrew Ehninger, Cary Griffiths and Steven Sheffield.

ROSE WAGNER ARTS CENTER : UP: Court Bennett & Jimmy Dale Lucero thru March 31st. (see February edition).

EVERGREEN FRAMING AND GALLERY (3295 S 2000 E) UP: the collaborative father-daughter show in a series entitled Travels by Don Prys and Jodi Steen.

PALMERS GALLERY (378 W 300 S Suite #3) UP: FACES - Portraits and Celebrities, paintings and photography

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN & ART GALLERY UP: The sculpture of Brian Challis.

MAGPIE'S NEST GALLERY UP:Utah Watercolor Society Annual Miniature Show, and showing abstract paintings by gallery regulars.

ART BARN/FINCH LANE GALLERY : UP: Mikel Covey, photography; Alex Kravtsov, photography; and H. James Stewart, ceramics. UPCOMING: Opening this weekend, March 3rd --Clay Wagstaff, paintings, Rebecca Wetzel Wagstaff, paintings, Mary Poulson, color photography (Park Gallery)

MICHAEL BERRY GALLERY (163 E 300 S) UP: Group Show. Featuring: Willamarie Huelskamp, Chris Kapsa, Rebecca Livermore, Pilar Pobil, and Heidi VanErt.

LOCAL COLORS ARTWORKS (Trolley Square) UP: Watercolors by Kate Birch, Photography by John Aldrich, Pottery by Steve Chamberlain and Kevin Parson.

WASATCH FRAME SHOP UP: Aaron Fritz, through May (see page 3).

LEIGH-NORTH GALLERY (136 S Main, Ste 202, second floor, Kearns Bldg; 746-4451) American Expression featuring paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries including: Albert Bierstadt, Alexander Helwig Wyant & Lilla Cabot Perry among others.

KAYO GALLERY UP: Round 2, Kayo Gallery's one year anniversary show, featuring work from 25 artists that have exhibited their work at kayo over the past year.

UNKNOWN GALLERY UP: The art of Keith Bryce and the fashions of Filthy Gorgeous.

A GALLERY UP: Emily Plewe. Reception Thursday the 9th, 6 to 8 pm.

RIO GALLERY UP: Chimera: Fur/Feather/Skin/Scale:Trent Call, Leia Bell, Jenny Lord, Tessa Lindsey, Dana Costello, David Ruhlman, Toby Putnam and Sri Whipple