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What’s New: Maureen O’Hara Ure

The delightful and always intriguing work of Maureen O’Hara Ure, where small and mysterious creatures abound, was recently seen in the Faculty Show at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah where she lectures and can also be seen nicely displayed on the second floor of Phillips Gallery, where she long has been associated. “Last May,” she tells us “I had the opportunity to spend two weeks drawing on-site in central France. For this project, research funded by the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah, my itinerary focused on the Romanesque frescoes and stonework in Burgundy’s abbeys and churches. While medieval imagery has been a major influence on my paintings for over a decade, and for all of that time, travel sketchbooks have been an essential part of my painting practice, this project moved my sketchbooks to the forefront of a project. Back in the studio, I am refining 20 of the stronger pages in my Burgundy sketchbook to form a new small volume. I will collaborate with designer Whitney Shaw to prepare the chapbook to be published under my imprint, The Hand in Glove Press.”

Maureen O'Hara Ure

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  1. The same two exhibitions, one the U of U faculty show at UMFA and the other upstairs at Phillips, woke me up to the work of someone I’d been looking over but not seeing. I’d like to add to Ann Poore’s fifteen bytes on Maureen O’Hara Ure that she proves this: that forcing ones thoughts, ideas, and creations into some sort of artificial future labeled ‘Contemporary’ is largely shuck and jive, a confidence trick, while reference to the past and to other cultural flowerings taps a far richer vein. Not that we dwell in the past, but that by acknowledging it and not prematurely cutting ourselves off from it, we are able to stand in direct descent from other artists and traditions. You get to be ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ for 15 minutes, then the next pushy movement calls you something else. The first truly modern artists came along in the middle ages, but we’ve called them ‘Gothic’ ever since (by the way, that was meant to put them down). Maureen O’Hara Ure shows that they still have plenty to show us if we’re just modest enough to open eyes and ears and share with them.

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