April 1, 2014
Contemporary Masters
THE Magazine, April 2014
Christopher Benson

Contemporary Masters
THE Magazine, April 2014
Christopher Benson

But, if you still like art that isn't quite so caught up in the hunger for celebrity buzz and market success -- that isn't embarrassed by a more soulful kind of questing -- there's a show across the street that merits a look. David Richard Gallery has put on a survey of some of the best of our elder local masters. These are contemporaries of the luminaries at Zane Bennett who migrated away from the urban art world around the same time that the superstars were building their reputations in its center. The main room features large-scale formalist abstractions by the late Taos painter Oli Sihvonen. It's surrounded by a group show of expressive abstractionists who came here from San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere. These include Lilly Fenichel, Eugene Newmann, Phillis Ideal, and Paul Pascarella, among others.

The David Richard exhibition is a real painter's show. As such, it's carrying a bigger gun than the print work across the street. Even so, we know the paintings and prints of the Zane Bennett artists well enough by now that it still feels like an illuminating comparison in the broader philosophical context of art versus market. The crucial difference between the two exhibitions is that one contains minor works by major (or more successfully commoditized) artists, while the other offers major works by artists who are comparatively minor. I hope both painters and proprietors at David Richard will forgive my use of those qualifiers, because in this context it refers only to fame. For my money, theirs is a more genuinely masterful kind of art than was made by some of their most celebrated contemporaries. -- Christopher Benson

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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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