Being part of a museum show has been a goal for me for a long time. It was a thrill to go to last night's opening at the Springville Museum of Art and see my work hanging with artists I have admired for sometime. From left to right that's me, Brittany Scott, Jeff Pugh, Joshua Clare, Mark England, and Karen Horne.
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I am VERY excited to write this piece. It is called, “As Long as We Know,” because as long as we know that is the only thing that really matters as the art world is a level playing field and we must not disqualify ourselves before the games begin. As long as we know, we can be certain RANDALL LAKE is a world leader in expressive plein air impressionism which he handles with a palette rich and lush in hues that make his scenes full of vitality and essence of living. Lake has been around and paid his dues. Few can even touch him, here, there anywhere.
As long as we know, with credibility OONJU CHUN is an international leader in the very demanding art of total abstraction. She graces her canvases with a lighter side of the abstract that is airy and spontaneous and sophisticated in the art of Zen that strikes a balance in tonality with a joviality of intermediate hue that brings it to life.
As long as we know PAUL VINCENT BERNARD can be assured he is a world leader in abstract-semi representation. He is a master print maker and ostensibly there is no other printmaker alive who is better and has his methodology which is incredibly intensive, the line being so important to him, it coming to life as he digs it with his tuler in a density that recognizes open spaces and abstract shapes as canny subjects.
As long as we know JEFF PUGH IS a representational semi-abstractionist foremost on the international stage. Jeff plans his compositions to an incredible extent putting thought and effort into every compositional choice that he makes, which each read on many literal artistic levels, biographical, spiritual, formal, abstract, stylistically singular. It is truly a marvel how these components all come together with this amount of meaning and to put Pugh on a lesser plane of accomplishment simply because he lives in Salt Lake City is about as great an insult as there can be on who WE are.
As long as we know SUZANNE STORER from Ogden, who is showing now at The Gallery @ Library Square, is a sculptor but literally uncontested in her expressive abilities and formal extremes. Suzanne has broken major ground as she uses the nude and finds a distinctive angle and using first an exacting drawing of the subject using a rule of thirds, starts from this unique vantage point and utilizes all of her talents as a ceramist and builds that sculpture from something flat into three-dimentions and there is absolutely nothing like it and she is a world leader in sculptural avant-gardism. (Look for a feature I wrote on her in this weeks 15bytes Artists of Utah).
As long as we know another sculptor whose preeminence as a philosophical conceptual sculptor cannot be denied whose work is leading in the avant-garde, a full time professor at BYU is BRIAN CHRISTENSEN who is also a full time innovator, who ranks at the top of the field internationally.
As long as we know JUSTIN WHEATLEY may easily be one of the top 30 something painters alive. What he accomplishes in formal construction is always progressing and always extraordinarily focused in its articulation and manifestation being multi-media but very clean and linear using painting along with photography and paper to create two or three diminutional pieces that have a look that is nothing short of world class professionalism. But where world class professionalism ends Wheatley keeps going as the crust is the exterior of the core and these paintings and sculptures are in content existential in every aspect of their creation questioning the existentiality beyond walls, beyond the exterior, beyond today, beyond the facade, beyond what we understand and what we don’t. His work is philosophically huge and is a universal questioning of reality. I’d like to see any New Yorker or Californian try to compare themselves even if purely in form and only then in content and there are simply none out there who are up to the task, who will shy away with the amorphous, the arbitrary, the design, the street, the pretentiously jejune, the replicated, the politicized, the kitsch.
As long as we know, SLC, and there are more of you, many more, that is what really matters.
I just read an article in 15Bytes by Ehren Clark about Jeff Pugh. I have a lot of respect for the work of both of these people. Even more, I have a lot of respect for them as individuals. They are both incredible people with a firm belief in what they do. Jeff creates beautiful work and is eager to help others do the same. Ehren's articles are the type that you want to read again and again, always finding something new in the intricate words. Take a look: