Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Logan Madsen's very personal exploration of the self
In 2006 Salt Lake artist Logan Madsen had his first solo exhibit, a series of floral paintings, at Art Access Gallery. He returns to the gallery this month with another solo exhibit, a series of paintings of a much more personal nature.
Madsen has an incredibly rare disease known as Miller Syndrome — there are fewer than thirty known cases in the world. The condition is characterized by shortened forearms, eight fingers and eight toes, hearing loss and facial malformations, among many other problems. In spite of these physical limitations and the pain they cause, Madsen is able to create stunning, hyper-realistic paintings. His upcoming show at Art Access is the first time he has explored himself in paint. These alarming works allow, or rather, demand that the viewer stare at his body. They attempt to visually express what it is to be Logan Madsen — both physically and psychologically.
In 2008, Madsen's grade school friend Nathan Meier visited the artist and began filming him as the artist began his series of personal paintings. From that footage Meier was able to cut a 15-minute very frank portrait of the artist he calls Logan's Syndrome. This month the film will be showing at the Bradford International Film Festival in England. Meier has continued to shoot over the years and plans to expand the short into a feature-length film. In the meantime, and in anticipation of Logan Madsen's upcoming solo exhibit at Art Access, here's Logan's Syndrome.
Exhibition Preview: Salt Lake City
Her Own Private Utopia
Susan Kirby at Williams Fine Art
Susan Kirby became an artist not by any decision but by a realization, an epiphany. She was 19, in Paris for a two-year study program, practicing a self-taught style she felt insecure about. A young artist-to-be needs validation and Kirby realized hers in a grand manner in Paris. Nothing less than on the Rue de Beaux Arts at the Gallery Benezit, Kirby received an epiphany, declaring “Oh my! That is mine! That is me!” What Kirby was responding to in the gallery is the universal style of naïveism, a place where Kirby found herself as an artist and discovered her aesthetic possibilities. Rushing back to her apartment she hastily produced two watercolors in a manner and presentation unique among naïveism, one that remains consistent to the present day.
Exhibitions Review: Salt Lake City
Snapshots and the Fabric of Life
Plural & Partial: Tracing the Intergenerational Self at the Rio Gallery
‘Our identity is at once plural and partial. Sometimes we feel that we straddle two cultures; at other times, that we fall between two stools,’ said Salman Rushdie.
—from the curator’s statement
It’s the job of the artist to multiply possibilities: to make one instance resonate with other moments in time and space. Lately, it seems the job of the curator is to narrow meanings, turning polymorphic visual works into broadsides. Whether there is synergy between these tasks remains to be seen. In Plural & Partial, curator Laura Hurtado has focused seven artists on a reading from Salman Rushdie: that as individuals we find ourselves incomplete, but we can ease this predicament by connecting to past selves, or we can look to the promise of the future, unknowable in detail but exercising broad influence on our present choices. Hurtado calls this the intergenerational self. If an individual is a strung bead and the string is the story, the only way to know more than ones own fragment is through other beads. For some of the artists, this is biography: knowing her own story. For others, it’s history: in particular, women’s history.
Jann Haworth’s two sculptures, "French Charm Bracelet" and "Gold Charm Bracelet," suggest the bead analogy. Prominently placed in the front of the exhibit, these colossal replicas of the quintessential autobiographical ornament boldly announce the theme. Expertly sculpted with scissors, needle, and thread, these stuffed satin effigies invert the process whereby charms become precious, giving them instead a sense of grandeur. After all, they represent the memorable moments of the artist’s life, making it appropriate that instead of hanging from her wrist, they hang—on stuffed fabric pins—across an entire wall. Each charm connects the life passage it memorializes to something outside the self, stitching the ego onto a vast canvas of space and time.