June 8, 2019
Paths and Loops: Automatic Drawings by John F. Simon, Jr.
Hilliard Museum
June 8 , 2019

John F. Simon, Jr., a native of Louisiana, is a noted software art pioneer. Paths and Loops acknowledges this status, and explores the nature of his creative process with a breadth and depth that has not been matched before. Simon uses meditation in conjunction with drawing each day to mine his subconscious for portentous subject matter. The resulting series, his Divination Drawings, represents a twenty year undertaking that feeds his overall artistic practice. If an image regularly cycles through his daily drawings, he will elaborate on the idea by recreating it in a less improvisational medium than drawing. At this stage his work is apt to manifest in a variety of forms such as software, sculptural paintings created with CNC routers, and any other materials that appeal to him. Simon is a meticulous record keeper and uses his archives to track his life’s work, as well as better understand the very nature of creativity and artistic intention. He is captivated by how his understanding of works of art he already thought complete grow and change over time, revealing that perhaps a work of art is never complete, only enriched with further consideration.

John F. Simon Jr.’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Phillips Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and many others. His work was notably featured in the recent exhibition Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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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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