January 1, 2014
Suzan Woodruff: "Echo Maker"
Art LTD, January 2014
a. moret


Suzan Woodruff: "Echo Maker"
Art LTD, January 2014
a. moret

Beneath the acrylic veneer of Suzan Woodruff's paintings there is a palpable tension where the expert handling of the medium conceals the weight of the subject. The delicate handling of lush and luminous brushstrokes mimics the intricacies of an abalone shell. The algorithm of the universe seems to be contained within each canvas. The dominant colors of the earth are represented from ebony, the sapphire of oceanic depths, to the golden flames of fallen stars to mountainous green and brown hues. Yet in most of this current body of work, a stark contrast between dark and light predominates. Despite the shifting atmospheric tones there remains a constant variable in each work, and that is the scientific examination of the surface. Woodruff's attention to detail reveals the depth of her desire to explore and discover the mystery of each square inch of canvas. The paintings are marked by a rich pearl texture that peaks and falls with an orchestral cadence that is both subtle and dynamic; its nebulous forms evince a cyclonic momentum. Observing them, the eye falls into a trance and we become lost in the rhythm of the paintings. This trance, however, temporarily delays our realization that the beauty of "Echo Maker" is not just the sweeping surfaces but also the melancholic atmosphere represented.

In Black Ice (2013), a cascading pearl light attempts to break free from the shadow that surrounds it. The dichotomous dark and light colors fight against each other so that we cannot determine if we are in the wake of a magnificent apocalypse or if we are midst of a cataclysmic change. The intensity of the incandescent pearl grows more intense in the middle of the composition but does the light continue or will it recede into darkness? In "Echo Maker," the viewer surrenders to the artist's perspective of the environment--are we looking at a landscape from above at a great distance? Or are we a part of the abstraction? Woodruff carefully obscures our sense of time. Are we witness to the memento mori or the aftermath of an earthly destruction? Either way, the "echo" presented in these works is visceral, devastating and beautiful.

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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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