How many views does it take to depict the steady, human-formed creation of absence on the land? In the case of Utah Museum of Fine Art’s (UMFA) current exhibition Creation and Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine, the answer is over one hundred. This well-researched, historical view of the mine — Donna Poulton’s last exhibition as the former curator of art of Utah and the West — is an in-depth, multi-media exploration of both how the land in the Oquirrh Mountains has been changed through industrialization and how artists have chosen to depict these changes. Works in the exhibition show us the land through an artistic lens, from a silver plate gelatin print of 1873, through the development of the mining industry, up to the landslide that took place at the mine in 2013. Through paintings, drawings, photography, prints, watercolors, books, and magazines, the exhibition continues the regional interest UMFA has shown in the past few years.
Hikmet Loe reviews the UMFA’s Creation and Erasure in the June 2014 edition of 15 Bytes.