Exhibitions | Salt Lake Area Exhibitions

2 ULTRA 2 SCAPES!! Jerrin Wagstaff at Nox Contemporary

Salt Lake City
Apr. 15 – June 3

440 S 400 W Suite H, SLC, UT 84101.

On Friday April 15, 2022, Nox Contemporary will be hosting the opening reception for the exhibition 2 ULTRA 2 SCAPES!! by Jerrin Wagstaff during the Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll, from 6-8 p.m

In his current body of work, ULTRASCAPES, Wagstaff explores how the landscape of the American West shapes ideas about American identity today, including notions of Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism, just as these ideas are being called to question. As a starting point for the series, the artist looks to an idealized version of the American West in the 1800s, formed by composite imagery from nature and used to build the identity of America through the lens of European traditions.

In 2 ULTRA 2 SCAPES!! Wagstaff begins by collecting images of Romantic landscape paintings from the 1800s and digitally manipulating them to create new versions of these paintings. Drawing in references to current popular culture and diversion, these landscapes promote a version of American identity wrapped up in spectacle, absurdity, and desire, found today in blockbuster action film franchises, such as “Transformers” or “The Fast & Furious.” The works also reference video games and virtual reality: in these digitally constructed spaces, the laws of physics do not apply and the landscape is constantly regenerating to keep pace with the player. Always the center of this environment, the player chooses how they interact with and mold the space to their desires. Similarly, with the advancement of technology, we increasingly choose how to construct and interact with our surroundings both virtual and real, making us the center of our own universe.

As Wagstaff constructs and reimagines these landscapes, they become a metaphor for the process of questioning and reconstructing identity. Confronted by these new works – his largest to date – employing vibrant, saturated color and abstraction resulting in unexpected, shifting spaces, the viewer is drawn in by the spectacle, then chooses their own experience within the landscape.

2 ULTRA 2 SCAPES!! marks Jerrin Wagstaff’s second solo show at Nox Contemporary, following his 2020 exhibition Miscellaneous Debris. An opening reception will be held on April 15th from 6pm – 8pm. The final reception will be held May 20th from 6pm – 8pm, with the exhibition closing Friday June 3, 2022.

Jerrin Wagstaff earned his MFA from California State University, Long Beach, in 2006 and his BFA from Brigham Young University in 2003. In 2021, he completed the artist-in-residence program at Modern West Fine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT which culminated in the solo exhibition ULTRASCAPES! Wagstaff has also had solo exhibitions at Another Year in LA, Los Angeles, CA. His work has been included in group shows at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA, CUAC Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UT, and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UT. In addition to his professional art practice, Jerrin has taught for 12 years at colleges and universities in California and Utah. He is also a contributor for the Contemporary Art Digest and is a resident at the Guthrie Artist Studios in Downtown Salt Lake City, UT.

Directions: The gallery is located in the Homeless Healthcare Clinic complex at 440 S 400 W, in the south west corner. If coming on I-15 take the 600 S exit (400 south exit if coming from the north) and turn left on 400 west, make a u-turn at 400 south and take your first right into the gating parking area and drive to the end, the gallery is the last door on your left, Suite H.

2 Ultra 2 Scapes will be open to the public by appointment.  There will be a second reception during the May Salt Lake Gallery Stroll on Friday May 20th, from 6-8pm.  For more information please contact john@johnsproul.com.

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