Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

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This collection includes documentation of exhibitions, installations, artwork and other related materials from the Utah Museum of Contempory Art in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Gaylen Hansen: Three Decades of Paintings
A retrospective exhibition of Gaylen Hansen paintings over 30 years., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Gianni Pettena: Forgiven By Nature
An exhibition about coneptual landscaping and natural configurations. Gianni Pettena: Forgiven by Nature is an immersive survey of Gianni Pettena’s artistic practice and architectural propositions. The span of work presented looks back at his early roots in the Italian Radical Architecture Movement in the late Sixties and early Seventies up to the artist’s current productions from the past year. The Radical Architecture Movement ushered in a new wave of imagining the role of the architect and the possibilities of the built environment. Responding to the ever-systematizing structures of Modernist Architecture, the Radical Architecture Movement denoted a critique that included utopian and often dystopian possibilities. From the beginning, Gianni Pettena’s practice aimed to better understand how architecture ultimately succumbs to the powers of nature, and he developed strategies that embraced such forces. In 1972, Pettena was invited by Bob Bliss to teach at the University of Utah. While in Salt Lake City, Pettena encountered a landscape that represented the application of philosophies he was developing, which is evident in his most iconic work produced—The Salt Lake Trilogy (1972)—a series that includes Clay House, Tumbleweeds Catcher and Siege (A Red Line). Gianni Pettena: Forgiven by Nature looks at how the artist has established his particular style of engaging with the landscape through tensions between man and nature. Early film, documentation, spatial interventions, photographs, drawings, and archival materials make up the presentation at UMOCA. Pettena has also produced several on-site installations including Human Wall and Human Space, as well as a new version of The Absence of Bodies (Laundry) (1969/2013). Exhibition held in the Street Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Girl Ascending: Melissa Ann Pinney
Girl Ascending began with a photograph of a girl seemingly suspended in mid-air, holding onto a chain-link fence with one hand, her dress lifted by the breeze. The setting is commonplace: a baseball game, nondescript buildings, and a dirt field seen though the fence. Nevertheless, the improbable levitation and serene demeanor of the girl suggested the Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the artist, raised, as she was, on the symbolic imagery of Catholicism. Grounded in attentive observation of the world, Chicago-based photographer, Melissa Ann Pinney reveals how dreams and expectations of girlhood are constructed and communicated between mothers and daughters, society and friends. She intimately portrays her daughter, Emma, growing up and becoming an adolescent, providing fresh insights into her day to day life with family, friends and neighbors. One of eight children from a large, Catholic family, the artist has always been drawn to scenes of family that also express her interest in ritual, mystery and memory. While her photographs capture seemingly insignificant moments from a girl’s daily world, they signify mythic and heroic themes of the vital transformation that takes place when a girl enters into womanhood. Exhibition held in the Street Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Go West: Promised Land or Exile?
Go West brings together twenty contemporary artists who offer up critical reflections on the West as both destination and destiny. These artists engage in an excavation of myths and ideologies embedded in the West, uncovering a range of motivations for westward movement over the years. Some came west in search of fame and fortune, while others were lured by the promise of a blank slate and the opportunity for self-reinvention. Some staked their claim to a Utopian, separatist space, away from the mainstream of society. Some, like the thousands of displaced Native Americans, were forcibly moved west, while other groups, like the Mormons, sought exile here. For so many Americans, the West was thought to be, first and foremost, a place without a past. Go West suggests the ways in which the past always informs the present, and how the West as place of latent possibilities continues to figure in our cultural imagination. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Honeymoon: Kristin Calabrese and Joshua Aster
Honeymoon is a harmonious marriage of opposites featuring paintings by newlyweds Kristin Calabrese and Joshua Aster, two internationally recognized, Los Angeles-based contemporary artists. Calabrese says “I think of my paintings as angry, funny, truth-telling, painful, and also like fake sculpture. Josh, in his paintings, is always trying to find a way to get from one side of the canvas to another.” This exhibition celebrates a passionate fusion of two diverse artistic minds: Aster’s works explore formal abstraction while Calabrese creates paintings that are illusionistic and inspired by her immediate surroundings. Though her subject matter differs from traditional landscapes and portraiture (for example, a grungy alleyway, the artist in a corner wielding a knife), Calabrese’s paintings comprise a visual and psychological tour-de-force that explores concerns common to painters with regard to addressing illusion, depth, figure, metaphor, and emotion. Calabrese’s work addresses her own perspective and life as an artist who is immersed in the realm of painting during every moment of each day. Joshua Aster’s abstract paintings provide a dynamic complement to Calabrese’s paintings. At once playful and academic, Aster deftly uses acrylic, ink, water, canvas and denim to explore, through manipulations of the fundamental elements of painting (including canvas, color, gesture and texture) what makes a painting a painting. Inspired by music, cinema, language, and more, Aster’s paintings function like jazz improvisations as they reveal curious and exuberant variations on themes taken from the structures of painting itself. Together, the works of Calabrese and Aster provide an exciting window into the very diverse range of practice in the world of contemporary painting and give the visitor an opportunity to explore not only differences in style, but also the shared concerns of these two great artists. Salt Lake Art Center is proud to premiere poptart, a concurrent exhibition of new video works by Joshua Aster that will be on view in the foyer. Exhibition held in the Street Gallery Space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Ignacio Uriarte: Binaries
A Survey About the Workplace as a Total Medium. Spanish-born, Berlin-based artist Ignacio Uriarte obtained a degree in business administration and, naturally, pursued a career in an office environment. Throughout the day, Uriarte found himself intersecting the behaviors, textures, and languages of organizational culture with the strategies and tactics of Minimalism and Conceptual art. This unconventional path led him to a bilingual artistic practice that can be understood by anyone who has either stood in an art museum or occupied a cubicle. UMOCA’s presentation of Binaries is an immersive survey into Uriarte’s research on the formal subjects of black and white, convex and concave, handmade and mass-produced as well as fundamental issues found in routine office environments. The works and the title are a reflection on the artist’s intersection of these two practices. Uriarte describes his own practice as a “typology of the error,” a call-and-answer between man and technology and the constant battle to accomplish an objective perfectly despite inevitable impossibility. Overall, his work is defined by a relationship to familiar rituals, set standards and unconscious actions that are built into how we navigate daily life. The parameters for any given project are predetermined by the chosen medium’s limitations and Uriarte is merely the messenger exposing the available results. Exhibition held in the Street Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Inside Out: Identity, Gender and Society
A free public symposium in conjunction with the exhibition "Out of The Closet: Clothing as Imagery in Contemporary Art.", TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe Acrobat.
Interweave: Innovations in Contemporary Basketry
"Interweave: Innovations in Contemporary Basketry" features the work of 10 artists using unusual materials to make sculptural vessels. Basketry is generally accepted as the oldest known form of craft, yet contemporary practice has transformed this craft into a fine art. Baskets are made by weaving together fibrous or pliable materials, usually forming them into a vessel to fulfill practical needs like containing, carrying, displaying, and storing goods. From ancient times to today, baskets were and remain useful to contemporary society. Since the 1970s, some artists have revolutionized basketry by using unexpected materials and methods, developing unique forms, and working in varying sizes and scales. No longer utilitarian, these baskets are sculptures and, like other contemporary art forms, are often thematic and imbued with meaning. Exhibition held in the Street Level Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Jack Dollhausen: A 30-Year Start
An early innovator of computerized art, Washington artist Jack Dollhausen creates intriguing, often humorous sculptures that actively engage the viewer. Created between 1968 and 2000, 26 dynamic sculptures convert the normal functions of electricity into elaborate statements of musical and interactive complexity. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space., TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe
Jamie Wyeth: Seven Deadly Sins
Exhibition held in the Street Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Jared Clark: BILD
Bild references both imagery and construction, as it is the German word for a painting as well as a homophone for “build”. The exhibit employs scavenged materials to create site-specific sculpture. Clark’s piece is a monumental installation composed of urban and domestic objects which takes as its springboard the tenets of minimalist primary sculptural forms; including a confrontation with the viewer in real space which demands consideration of its relationship to the scale of the human body. “While the Bild is clearly a sculptural installation, it poses itself with a flat rectangular side which begs to be read as a painting, while the backside of the Bild betrays its nature as sculpture with variegated lengths of objects protruding in an almost violent way that contrasts the orderly and serene composition of the front. Thus the Bild is also a commentary on the privileged plane of painting, the frontal flatness that [Clement] Greenberg proposed was its essence,” says artist Jared Clark on his work. Exhibition on display in the Locals Only Gallery., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Jason Metcalf: Abracadabra
Knock on wood. Grab the lucky penny. Don’t cross the black cat’s path. Beware of the number 13. Drive a rusty nail through a lime to avoid the evil eye. Superstition is one of the most uniting forces across cultures. Whether conscious or unconscious, with zeal, skepticism, or denial; our behaviors, daily rhythms, architecture, and design are determined by superstitions both arcane and contemporary. Artist Jason Metcalf has painstakingly researched, re-enacted and refreshed languages of superstition long forgotten from day-to-day vernacular. Entities, obsessions, legends and lore from various local cultures — with provenance in places as far as Haiti and as near as the Sanpete Valley — provide the sculptural and performative language displayed in his solo exhibition. Metcalf gives us objects that stand between the mind’s eye and lore, which playfully prod the tales of old wives or the Doubting Thomas. The artist states, “When an individual knowingly recreates or re-enacts a particular legend or myth as a kind of forgery, such singularities effectively become real through their physicalization. The subsequent belief by a third party that these actions are the real-life manifestation furthermore becomes proof of the myth or legend’s reality.” Many of the artworks on view are sourced from verbal descriptions passed down from generations as if our folkloric sayings were actually instructions for how to make conceptual sculpture. This body of research generates its own sculptural language referencing art movements ranging from Dada and the readymade’s innovator Marcel Duchamp. Considering them as purely sculptural exercises the absurdity of the forms brings to mind the famous quote that sums up Surrealism as being “the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” In his process, Jason Metcalf’s work not only reflects an existing culture of belief, but also reinforces those legends for UMOCA visitors. Nevertheless, Metcalf refers to his works as “forgeries” because they are not born from the original intent or belief, and instead function as visual surrogates or documentation. The objects and the aura they project beg the questions of inherent occult properties. Is it possible to realize an archive of superstition without fearing its total magic? Exhibition held in the Locals Only Gallery Space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.

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