Exhibitions | Salt Lake Area Exhibitions

Field Notes: Paintings by Susan Makov at Salt Lake City Main Library

RECEPTION: SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm.
Artist talk 3:30 – 4 pm.

The Gallery at Library Square
210 East 400 South

Exhibit runs from Jan 19 – Mar 1, 2019


Artist Statement

“No one sees trees. We see fruit, we see nuts, we see wood, we see shade. We see ornaments or pretty fall foliage. Obstacles blocking the road or wrecking the ski slope. Dark, threatening places that must be cleared. We see branches about to crush our roof. We see a cash crop. But trees— trees are invisible.” – Richard Powers, The Overstory

Some personal interests are known to us our entire lives. Other interests take an entire life before we truly understand our passions. Until moving west from New York in 1977, my life’s chapters in art reflected formal design. Since then, I have explored the land of the west, its history, and its form. A 1988 artist’s residency at Ucross, Wyoming renewed my excitement about painting.

My recent paintings embrace observation, elements of photography and digital assemblage, with an intuitive appreciation for the natural world. Photography has been my visual note-taking. Working this way through woodcuts and paint, I respond to the land’s formal beauty, a joyful way of discovering various aspects of the world. What excites me the most are the textures and patterns of the forests. Many stands of trees create intriguing patterns that are reminiscent of calligraphy. For me, they create a kind of language, realizing that the communities of trees are not silent.

Most recently, I found forests in distress. The forests are responding to drought, pollution and environmental issues that are not always obvious.

My interests concern making the details of shrinking forests visible. My work explores unexpected discoveries. The smallest elements of the forest reflect drastic changes in climate. Sometimes the trees celebrate their own existence and overcome challenges. Or a forest  might reflect pressures from outside. Increasing `res and insect damage, floods and droughts devastate acres of forests. All are detectable with the visible eye.

A community of trees may be older than any made by humans. Recent discoveries find that trees communicate with each other. My paintings reflect how trees communicate with me.


About the library

Salt Lake City’s Main Library, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie (see related titles in our catalog) in conjunction with VCBO Architecture, opened in February 2003 and remains one of the most architecturally unique structures in Utah.

This striking 240,000 square-foot structure houses more than 500,000 books and other materials, yet serves as more than just a repository of books and computers. It reflects and engages the city’s imagination and aspirations. The six-story curving, walkable wall embraces the public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium. A multi-level reading area along the glass lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. A roof-top garden, accessible by walking the crescent wall or the elevators, offers a 360-degree view of the Salt Lake Valley. Spiraling `replaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the library and the crescent wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views.

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