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 […]
Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.
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 […]
Utah is home to a wide variety of art venues, from those that deal in highly polished decor to others showing art so conceptual the gallery may look empty at first. Museums play a role here, varied by location—one downtown, another in the shopping mall—and their mix of […]
It may seem like there are as many possible artistic goals, and strategies for achieving them, as there are artists, but it’s not really true. Just as the number of genres remains finite—landscape, portrait, figure, still life, and so on—and the variety of qualities, like abstraction, representation, or […]
’Like nothing you’ve ever seen before.’ Larry Revoir’s vocabulary of annihilation comes to Finch Lane
Today’s artists come of age in a thicket of appropriation, whether it’s the quotation of a famous artwork, like Marcel Duchamp’s drawing a mustache on a postcard of Mona Lisa, or pop music made from sampled, previous hit songs. So it came as no surprise when, in April […]