Artist Profile: Cottonwood Heights
And There Was Light
A profile of intermedia artist Wendy Wischer
For intermedia artists, installing a show is never a simple task. Where for artists working in more traditional media might simply ship the work off to a curator to install, for artists working with sound, light and moving parts, installation is not an afterthought, but part of the work. That's why on Black Friday, when many of her colleagues were jostling their neighbors in big box stores, Wendy Wischer was on a plane to Miami.
She was catching up to the materials she had shipped the previous week, part of an install at the Haitian Cultural Center during Art Basel-Miami Beach. It's the second work she has installed in the city over the past month, a period in which she also installed "Trapped Within" at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as part of the New Narratives exhibit. And in her studios (there are multiple) she's working on new sculptures, experimenting with projections and casting fiberglass trees.
It's easy to see why the University of Utah professor is the recipient this year of a Utah Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship. In this month's Artist Profile, Wischer talks with us about her work, her studio and the importance of light.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
Finding Existence in the Depths of a Portrait
Jenny Morgan at CUAC
In the contemporary mode, portraiture should and does explore the extremities of the subject, to the extent that the content of the portrait is no longer the subject alone, but expands to speak on an expository, universal level, addressing relevant truths and unique ontological states of being. Such is the reach of portraitist Jenny Morgan, a Salt Lake City native who went first to Colorado and then New York to study, and who returns to her native state this month with an exhibition of compelling works at Salt Lake City’s CUAC.
Perhaps what keeps each of these portraits fresh and distinctive, each one a learning experience, is that the subjects that are the vehicle for ontological experience are members of the artist’s intimate circle of close family and friends. That she knows each subject personally, and not merely from a candid glimpse, is a vital factor in the phenomenaS of the portraits as they are revealed.
Exhibitions Review: Salt Lake City
Nor Any Drop to Drink
William Lamson's Hydrologies at UMOCA
Water is one of art’s great subjects, and why not? One of four indispensable elements known to the Greeks, it’s the one that comes closest to being unique to our planet. Water makes life possible, but also shapes and even transports it. We know far more about water now than we did in the years between 1798 and 1817, when Samuel Taylor Coleridge re-channeled the course of English poetry with Rime of the Ancient Mariner, his longest poem and clearest announcement of a new, Romantic understanding of the human relation to nature. Almost exactly 200 years later, we are once again struggling to bring into focus yet another view of the natural world: one in which we are part of, rather than opposed to nature. Where Coleridge focused on its sublime power, we are becoming aware of its limits, and ours. A scientific illustration, meant to clarify how precious this resource is, shows Earth as a dry, brown sphere, on which three progressively smaller blue drops represent all the planet’s water, all its fresh water, and all its potable surface water. It’s a disturbing image that represents one vital and indispensable kind of knowledge. Another way of knowing water—more intimate, more palpable, if no less inexorable—can be found in the art of William Lamson, whose Hydrologies have taken shape over several months at UMOCA and elsewhere.