Artist Profile: Salt Lake
Jim Frazer: The Explorer in Mind
by Heather Wunderlich | photos by Manju Varghese
Jim Frazer, whose "curiosity boxes" are on exhibit this month at Finch Lane Gallery, is primarily known in these parts as a landscape photographer. One might catch him tooling around town with his teenage daughter, Katie, in their blue Land Rover. Or you may have seen his digital photographs of botanical gardens and landscape rock features in local galleries or the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta. And while he has a large body of work to support this off-the-beaten-path explorer-type image, Frazer is even much more of an explorer than you might imagine. The heart of his work is all about discovery and experiment, journey and abstraction, with a heavy dose of science. Step into his studio (and around the magnet experiments and Prince Rupert's drops) and you can see the evidence of a mind in the business of working it all out.
Not surprisingly, Frazer began his career in photography during college at a science lab in Wood's Hole Massachusetts. His early college work was semi-abstract, primarily black and white water and rock landscapes that evolved during grad school to include urban-inspired work, still abstracted, using the element of line. One can see similarities between Frazer's work and the photographs of John Pfahl, whom Frazer cites as an early influence. After graduating with his MFA from Georgia State, Frazer helped to form Nexus Inc, which is now the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. He also taught photography at the Atlanta College of Art, Mercer University and Georgia State while continuing to develop his own art career. Frazer was the first local photographer to have a solo show at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in 1981 and has exhibited his work in museums, colleges and galleries in just about every state in the Union as well as in France and London.
Emerging Artists: Salt Lake City
Under the Radar, Part 2
Gentry Blackburn, Tessa Lindsey & Laura Besterfeldt
by Cara E. Despain
Layered in the strata of Salt Lake artists, below the hot local art stars and somewhere in between the old favorites, students, and nationally showing Utah artists are those who work just under the radar-- up and coming people producing work that is deserving of attention, and who are just breaking into the Salt Lake art scene. In the May edition we looked at Brenda Wattleworth, Claire Taylor, Wynter Jones, and this month turn our attention to Gentry Blackburn, Tessa Lindsey, and Laura Besterfeldt.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
I Am You @ the Rio
Eva Jorgensen, Zuzanna Smolarkiewicz, & Chelsea Hertford Taylor
by Geoff Wichert
Some years ago I was standing with a friend, looking up at the night sky, when she suddenly announced that she could see a face in the full moon's disk. Yes, I replied: the Man in the Moon. Then she explained that in her forties she still thought that was only a figure of speech. But there it was: a face looking down from the night sky. We humans discover our visages in all sorts of contexts; it's a survival skill we're good at. But the three artists showing at the Rio Gallery are also adept at inverting the process. What they do, instead of putting faces on things, is to project thingslike environment, biography, and historyonto the images of their subjects. I Am You showcases the remarkable visual inventions of these young artists, each still a graduate student but already pushing the envelope of her primary medium. Novelty for its own sake has been one of the signposts of modernism, but here originality is something more than mere noise: each has forged her own visual language and thereby found a way to tell more by telling differently.
Leonardo da Vinci claims that every portrait contains a selfportrait. Eva Pollock Jorgensen deliberately seeks her self-portrait in the faces of those around her. In works ranging from small prints to wallsized ensembles she unites two of today's most energetic, least exhausted mediumsprint and fiberto form metaphorically rich variations. Not content with new material combinations and effects, she finds strong affinity between those and her perceptions of the subject matter, producing works that convey fresh insights in compelling new ways.
The smaller pieces, which could almost be mistaken for conventional hand-pulled prints, are the more technically and metaphorically complex, combining traditional colored ink imagery, images printed in the same color as the support, colorless embossed figures unrelated to the inked images, and lines stitched in on a sewing machine. By turns ornamental, sensual, or semantic, this extended range of marks makes for texture and text: the latter an implied narrative voice commenting on a story even as it is being told.