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 […]
Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.
‘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 […]
“The activity of actually making the painting, its successes and defeats, frequently is the most important factor we feel in the work, not simply how it ended up.” —Tony Smith I must have been among the last tourists to encounter the UMFA collection in its previous home, just […]
One of the Old World’s grand definitions of art—that art is craft in the service of inspiration—seemingly went out of service when fashionable insistence by artists on absolute creative freedom trumped the audience’s taste for demonstrations of skill. But the pendulum continues to swing, and ironically enough, new, […]
Longtime followers of UMOCA, going back to the days when it was called the Salt Lake Art Center, have known to check out the room all but hidden in the back, at the northeast corner of the large, downstairs gallery. Here gems often can be found: small collections […]
Tyrone Davies’ In Camera comprises more than a dozen television sets arranged in deliberate, symmetrical spatial compositions around an altar-like pair that much of the time places an image of religious meditation in close proximity to a giant sports arena. Symbolism noted. All the sets are playing, a […]
Shelley, given like all Romantic poets to overstatement, wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Two centuries later, Auden replied that “poetry makes nothing happen.” Presuming that what they said of poetry can stand for all of art, their argument addresses the essential question […]