Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Human Pursuits of Happiness: The Life and Art of Suzanne Larson
by Shawn Rossiter | photos by Kimberly Anne Silcox
Suzanne Larson loves to be around animals, whether they be made of flesh and blood and wrapped in shell or fur, or constructed from Styrofoam or papier-mâché and wrapped in thrift-store ties and living room drapes. Either way, animals speak to her.
As a veterinary technician, the flesh and blood kind were part of her professional life, and when she finally had the courage, as she puts it, to embrace her life as an artist, animals joined her. For the past decade, they have come to life under her caring hands in the whimsical found-art assemblages that have fueled her artistic endeavors.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
"Found Art" Gets a Facelift
SF Recycled at the Salt Lake Art Center
by Ehren Clark
SF Recycled, the current exhibit in the Salt Lake Art Center’s Main Gallery, features artwork created out of materials from the solid-waste transfer and recycling center in San Francisco. Using old or found objects to create fine art is nothing new. Since the early avant-garde, artists have incorporated old objects into their work, usually as part of a modernist aesthetic manifesto and an attempt to challenge bourgeois norms. In a refreshing move for this late date in the found-art phenomenon, the Artist in Residence program at SF Recycling and Disposal, “recycles” discarded objects into fine art and breaks the mold of the found art tradition to assess the critical political concerns of the contemporary situation.
Exhibition Review: Ephraim
A Still Life
Ron Richmond at Snow College
by Geoff Wichert
In his "Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, with Saints Jerome, Paul, and Peter," Botticelli makes one of the Renaissance's more subtle claims for the status of art and the artist. After all, of the three men he shows present at the crucifixion, one was not yet born, one had yet to recognize Christ, and the third had fled in fear on the fatal day. Thus the painter could be equating his witness to theirs: what they witness by the power of devotion, the painter witnesses by the power of imagination. The further suggestion that oil and canvas can bring us, as viewers, into the presence of actual events is one side of the chasm that separates the Renaissance from the Modern mind. Ron Richmond, who quotes a portion of the Botticelli "Lamentation" in his "Bowl With Botticelli" (which was at the CUAC this past summer but is not at Snow College), stands with one foot on either side of that divide. His medieval ideal of the role of painter should please those who feel that art, in abandoning God, has gone astray from its best possible subject matter. Yet at the same time, he works as a painter in the continuing tradition of Modern-to-Post-Modern art history. In short, he makes work both his fellow religionists and secular humanists can enjoy without losing self-respect.
A painted still life depicts an assortment of objects chosen by the painter for their significance, arranged to produce a compression of thought and feeling. For the viewer, the sensory impact usually comes first: a tightly composed, closely observed set of visual facts. Significance arises from the choice and juxtaposition of objects and atmosphere to establish a mood. The 15 medium-sized paintings in A Still Life, currently showing at the Snow College Art Gallery, expand and simplify the list of conventional still life subjects and arrangements, but they also make the punning suggestion that the activity of painting can give the painter’s life significance: contemplation becoming a kind of prayer.