Sometime after World War II, the field of literature—readers, writers, publishers, and commentators—split in two, leaving academics and historians on one side and current producers—makers of what in the visual arts is now called ”contemporary studio practice”—on the other. Frequent wailing about the death of reading refers primarily […]
Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum, but Loves an Empty Shop Window: David Baddley and a pop-up experiment at the Gateway
Sometime in the 1980s, art world observers began to notice that artists were often among the first entrepreneurs to move into neighborhoods widely considered uninhabitable, where they would jump-start what soon became the gentrification process. It would have been in large, coastal American cities’ industrial and warehouse areas […]
The Gallery at Library Square boasts a unique perspective, allowing its audience to peer from its tidy enclosure over the fourth floor railing and into the towering abyss of the library’s atrium. Yet so quick are we to become inured to experience that this once acrophobia-inducing encounter has, […]
Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen is a Utah native who grew up in Emigration Canyon, but his name invokes the Northern Renaissance: the great scientific and artistic era when Carel Fabritius painted “The Goldfinch,” an ornithological study celebrated in a 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel; and Pieter Bruegel the […]
C.C.A. Christensen painted his most important work, the “Mormon Panorama,” in the mid-1870s. Even though as an immigrant he hadn’t witnessed the persecution and violence central to the stories he gave visual form, it was his dramatic images, in which nature herself seemed to recoil in horror, that […]
In “Dig,” a large and very colorful landscape in a portrait format, a middle-aged man, lean and strong from a lifetime of hard work, leans forward from the waist, his bare torso so shiny with sweat it reflects the sky above him. As he digs, the passion of […]
Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—the film critic Stuart Klawans told me I was “the sort of viewer who is as interested in the film outside the film” as I am in what happens in it. It wasn’t a compliment; more an acknowledgment of temptation. Yet I […]
The dire predicament of fine art right now is the proverbial animal in the room that no one wants to acknowledge; it’s as if an author died between books and the publisher hired someone to continue writing under the same name, all the while keeping it a secret […]
Thanks to over a century of tireless efforts by heroic avant-garde artists and their supporters, no meaningful distinction exists today between contemporary artworks and the ordinary objects that surround them. Paintings cannot be distinguished from illustrations, sculptures from decor. Art galleries fill with redundant advocacy for already popular […]
‘The assemblage quality in my work is no more than a direct expression of the fundamental assemblage quality of my life.’ —Frank McEntire For a long time, now, I’ve been aware that Frank McEntire, aside from being one of the most prolific, influential, and important artists in Utah […]
Like a well-constructed sentence, the parts of the Marmalade Branch are coordinated and subordinated. Pride of place—the subject of the sentence, if you like—goes to the striped silver-gray plane that forms the highest part of the roof, then bends down sharply at front and back to enclose the dominant volume like a bracket. Like any main clause, it names its subject.
I’ve never seen a convincing example of divine intervention in the affairs of men, but those who believe they have may take comfort from something that happened as I was waiting to enter the Provo Center Temple during its continuing open house. While awaiting the film that introduces […]