February 29, 2012
Huffington Post, 02/29/2012
Peter Frank


Huffington Post, 02/29/2012
Peter Frank

Ward Jackson was a dependable presence on the New York scene, friend to nearly everyone, but few knew his work as a painter. His quiet, almost studious approach to abstract and representational painting alike endeared him more to fellow painters than to noisier scenemakers - a shame, as it relegated the substantial, even moving work of this dedicated painter to group shows and small, artist-run galleries. This look at several points along Jackson's half-century career identifies him primarily as a hard-edge painter - not a minimalist, but a post-constructivist, sensitive equally to color (some of his geometries are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, without ever being the least bit decorative) and to composition. Earlier paintings come out of expressionism and surrealism, but avoid the gestural, depending instead on rhythmic, sinuous line (and, again, a sensitivity for color). A late series of landscapes from his native Virginia relates Jackson to New York's figurative "underground" - and, ultimately and not surprisingly, to Cézanne. Of an earlier generation than Jackson, Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak display the same values in their painting, relying on the dynamics of line, color, and composition to describe personal universes in intimate ways. Having left New York for New Mexico in the mid-1940s, Mandelman and Ribak kept abreast of what their old friends were doing, but their distance allowed them to do it differently. Indeed, they were central to Taos' own brand of late modernism, and thus to keeping the high desert a hotbed of painterly experiment. On view here were some of Mandelman's last, lusciously colored and expansively composed paintings, and various of Ribak's more restrained, if still painterly (and landscape-referent), abstractions.

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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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