Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
A Slight Cut to the Eye: The Art & Life of Jann Haworth
The first piece could easily be overlooked. It's an upholstered pair of what the British call "inverted commas," but Americans call quotation marks. Its mate, the last piece, closes the quotation, marking the 20 works in between as something of a statement. "It's my nod to Postmodernism," quips the artist, Jann Haworth. It's also a quintessential Pop Art gesture, something that comes naturally to one of the few women who made a name for herself in that trans-Atlantic art movement. In Hollywood, where she was born, the aesthetic maxim is, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union." But a statement isn't the same as a message. For an artist who knew instinctively that if she was to be an artist at all she must be a woman first, then an artist, the most important task is to declare that she exists, and has seen things she wants us to see, too. It's Pop with content, but she's not about to let that spoil the fun.
Jann Haworth's career began with a quandary most will face only in their dreams. From art school she went straight to the top, accepted by a prestigious gallery at 20 and meeting the greats of her day. Then she collaborated on one of the best-known icons of an era forever defined by graphic images and designs like the peace sign, psychedelic posters, and paisley. Haworth and her partner gave an obscure British cultural reference the visual identity it needed to resonate with a worldwide audience. Without the album cover she and her partner devised, it's unlikely anyone would have known what to make of a name like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.
Special Feature: Personal Essay
The Art of the Snapshot
by Amanda Moore
As a professional artist and photographer nothing strikes fear in my heart more than hearing, "Would you mind taking our picture?" or, "Amanda is the photographer, let her take the picture." How do I tell my grandmother that I am used to photographing non-moving desert landscapes with a Sinar 4x5 camera, and her little Digital Elph scares the bejesus out of me? Anxiety starts coursing through my veins. What if I cut everyone's head off, maybe they will think its just me being arty. Or what if the picture is too boring or if everyone thinks they look bad, will they think I am a terrible photographer? Should I tell them to say "F Stop" instead of "cheese" so they know I'm the real deal? I have a website, should I tell them that, or that I am working on a book? Maybe that will let them know I am actually good. To me the snapshot represents something I am not familiar with: portraits. The snapshot can be so loaded, especially in the hands of someone that should "know what they are doing..." The snapshot, depending on which philosophy you buy into, can be a window into someone's soul or it can just be a tragedy waiting to happen.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
Modern Art: Form, Color, Expression
Monet to Picasso at the UMFA
by Lane Bachman
The UMFA is currently hosting its most impressive exhibit yet, The Cleveland Museum of Art's Monet to Picasso collection. These renowned masterworks from the collection of America's finest small museum have been displayed worldwide in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo but Salt Lake City is the only stop in the Western US. Among the works are paintings, drawings and sculpture spanning 100 years of prominent periods in the history of Fine Art. From the Impressionists to Surrealism, visitors will be moved by the works of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Modigliani and Dali to name just a few.
As celebrated collections go, this installment might be by far the best both in the diversity of individual styles shown, and also in its intelligently-linked and cross-referenced nature, tying works to their prior and future art epochs. The sobering questions are, where do we find these vestiges and visual catalysts that evolve specific periods of art? Why are certain techniques and ideologies held over into the later schools of art? We can actually see the process of development in this exhibit.
As with most turning points, the new techniques and ideas of the Impressionists, including Monet of the exhibition's title, weren't readily accepted into the mainstream. The claim that seeing light in a new, different way and the mundane as subject, got the Impressionists labeled as radicals by the stodgy Academie des Beaux Arts. Time and time again, these artists would submit their works, only to be rejected by those who still held that religious and historic subjects, and a tepid, undaring realism, were the only standards for fine art.
For example, "Romaine Lacaux" by Renoir (1864) shows the vestiges of the classical pose and hints of realism, but he uses bold solid color brushstrokes as a tool to see the change in light. This light surrounds us by being lifted from the subject's blouse and the drape behind her, seemingly bouncing around the entire canvas. The artist's brush lifts this white light, cautiously, carefully dropping it down on her dress and the flowers in the background. Renoir brings this portrait into Impressionism by using this technique of expressing light in color rather than using the glossy overcoat of sheen to the entire painting, as was the custom.