September 1, 2012

DEBORAH REMINGTON / JUDY CHICAGO
Huffington Post, 09/01/2012
Peter Frank

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DEBORAH REMINGTON / JUDY CHICAGO
Huffington Post, 09/01/2012
Peter Frank

Deborah Remington was one of America's most enigmatic contemporary painters. Evolving out of Bay Area abstract expressionism, Remington had developed an inimitable and impossible-to-classify imagery, and technique to go with it, by time she moved to New York in the 1960s. Her forms are at once organic and geometric, erratic and heraldic, hard-edged and sensuous, gemlike and fleshy, seductive and frightening. Luminous, almost electric colors describe the finely wrought edges of large, empty spaces, each composition ultimately posing a single huge, weird, eternally metamorphosing form clearly composed of several interlocking, likewise elusive components. The centrality of these forms after the mid-1960s, each featuring a void as its prominent nucleus, led feminist aestheticians to identify her work as quintessentially woman-identified. Remington resisted this construction, not wanting her unstable, feverish imagery to be fixed by an essentialist interpretation; but she never rejected the interpretation outright. This helped make the juxtaposition of some of Remington's most compelling and important canvases from the '60s and '70s with some of Judy Chicago's most compelling and important canvases of the '80s so coherent - and yet so dramatic. The vaporous, super-charged glow that pervades Chicago's work from the 1980s, carried over from her better known work of the previous decade, also connects the two painters' oeuvres. But the descriptiveness and deliberate bombast of Chicago's often immense figurative statements are light years from the circumspection of Remington's images. The "PowerPlay" series allowed Chicago to exploit and improve upon the cartoonish neo-expressionism of Schnabel, Kostabi, the German Neue Wilde, and other heroes of the moment, turning their pretense at angst and anomie into actual sociopolitical statements, rife with actual anger and confusion. In depicting man's struggle to manifest aggression and maintain dominance over woman, Chicago was able to convey, even in the cruelest and most violent images, a sense of universal tragedy. Everybody loses, the "PowerPlay" paintings and studies insist, and men are as trapped in and diminished by their roles as women in and by theirs. (David Richard, 544 S. Guadalupe St., Santa Fe; www.davidrichardgallery.com)

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March 27, 2019
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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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