October 28, 2017
Nancy Graves
David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Visual Art Source / Fabrik, 10/28/2017
Amanda Malloy

Nancy Graves
David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Visual Art Source / Fabrik, 10/28/2017
Amanda Malloy
In 1969 the late Nancy Graves took her first steps into the art world, debuting as the youngest artist, and only the fifth woman to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art. With her life-sized, realistic-looking camel sculptures, it seemed Graves would cement her place in the world of naturalism. Her current exhibition, “After Image,” features paintings from 1982 through 1989, and are a far cry from the realistic sculptures that first put her on the art world map.

Those who have followed Graves' career are likely familiar with her more abstract work, which incorporates brightly colored oil paint on white backgrounds, and straddles the line between surrealism and abstract expressionism. What distinguishes the eight paintings here is the fact that they are all done on a black background. While that may not sound too remarkable, the dark background adds a dramatic depth of field. Many incorporate sculptural elements, with large metal abstract forms emerging like brush-strokes leaping off the canvas. They also extend the canvas by casting swirling shadows on the wall. Colorful lines and patterns emerge in various levels of impasto, which float in the dark background as if they are hanging in space. The four paintings in the front gallery allow more negative space. The black backgrounds are not just a setting for the lines that they contain. Graves uses different shades of black with varied finishes to give the background an atmospheric quality.

A separate room towards the back of the gallery houses four additional paintings. Colorful lines and patterns overwhelm the canvases like psychedelic sea-scapes (appropriate, given that they are inspired by seafloor topography). While these paintings initially seem like a chaotic mass of neon, codified within the swirling lines are hidden figurative elements. A face peers out from the coral-like shapes, and animals appear hidden in the foliage-like patterns. The longer you look, the more you will be rewarded by Grave’s skill of composition and whimsical design.

Nancy Graves, "Everyone Scurries," 1989, oil on canvas with gold leaf and anodized aluminum element, 46 x 40 x 17"

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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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