BY CAR, BY PLANE, BY BOAT, BY TRAIN... /
Curated by Adam Larsen
Zane Anderson / Robbie Barber / Ed Bateman / Nemo Gould / Dan Jones / Viktor Koen / Jason Lanegan / Adam Larsen / Dennis Smith / Michael Ulman
November 1, 2014 - February 6, 2015
Modern man has always been fascinated by mechanized modes of transportation. From the invention of the wheel to the first space flight, the compulsion to travel further, higher, faster, deeper has resulted in a multitude of mechanized vehicles and vessels. This exhibition explores the obsession to motate, and showcases assemblage contraptions which reinterpret modes of transportation on land, in the air, and at sea. The exhibition includes both unique visions of 2D collage and 3D assemblage work.
Header image: Air Ship, Dennis Smith
About the Curator
Adam Larsen is a passionate artist and teacher of the visual language. His philosophy of art and teaching embraces the idea that art occurs when craft and concept homogenize. He is dedicated to promoting the practice of fundamental visual and dextral skills in a variety of artistic disciplines. His work cannot be categorized completely by one artistic medium but instead exists in varied forms of drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and artists’ books. This mixed-media affiliation allows him freedom as an artist to produce work in any combination of material and process, informing and enhancing his particular concept. His current work can be characterized as a visual reflection of his life as he attempts to translate commonplace occurrences into intimate visual dialogs utilizing the visual and tactile container of the sculptural artists’ book. The work includes the use of toys and elements of childhood play, metaphorically creating a reciprocal relationship between early memories and the awareness of adulthood. Adam has exhibited his work, extensively throughout the region, around the country, and internationally. He is currently a tenured, Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah where he teaches drawing, 2D design, and printmaking.
About the Artists
Zane Anderson / I am an artist with the deepest passion for artistic stimuli whether it is two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Therefore I use a variety of mediums to express the childhood interest I have visually. I work mostly in the disciplines of printmaking, assemblage, and painting. My work is commonly centered around my abstract ideas of childhood wants, feelings, and thoughts. These are the basis of my interests today. My goal is to make well-crafted images and sculptures coupled with good concepts and ideas. This is a recipe for good art. Zane Andersone lives and works in Cedar City, UT. zaneandersonart.wix.com/zane
Robbie Barber / My architecture-related sculptures are influenced by my travels throughout rural America. I am attracted to the strong visual character of this country’s vernacular architecture. Vintage lapboard houses, mobile homes, and agriculture-related structures have become regional icons that ultimately tell the stories of their inhabitants and builders. This implied history interests me deeply. Typically considered eyesores, these structures are glaring reminders of the social and economic plight of much of our society. Yet on a formal level, they have a hidden beauty, complex in color, texture, and shape. Much like America’s Ashcan School, I am interested in the depiction of unheralded everyday subject matter and the subtle nobility in these castles of the mundane. A feeling of sadness is often prevalent in these works, reminding me of the stories my Mother and my Aunt Mildred have told me of their early life in rural North Carolina, and of the ones they will not tell, no matter how much I prod. My cast sculptures are influenced by my interest in toy design, and both folk and outsider art. These works feature paint-worn patinas inspired by played-with cast iron piggy banks, die-cast toy automobiles, and tin toys. For many of these works, I use a variety of original forms from which to pull a mold from. These include wood, clay, vegetables, and cactus. Other works included in this portfolio are made by carving directly into mold blanks, creating forms through spontaneity and controlled accidents. The portrait busts seen here come directly from my interest in toys, and feature heavy stylization of the figure. This style is intended to be tough-in-cheek, and in contrast to the “serious” portrait busts created by Roman sculptors and others throughout art history. Other cast works here feature my interest in fetish and fertility figures, and icons in general. My goal is to capture the magical quality of these powerful objects of meaning. robbiebarber.com
Edward Bateman / Edward Bateman is an assistant professor at the University of Utah and teaches art in the Photography/Digital Imaging program. As a child of what was then called the Space Age, he was torn between being an artist or a scientist. The computer allowed him to split the difference and in 1983, he first began using computers to create images. By the early 90s, he was working professionally in the field of digital imaging and has for many years taught and lectured on the subject. In 2008, he was awarded the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award for his contributions to the arts. Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny, a book of his work, has been published by Nazraeli Press. He has participated in exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Poland, Hong Kong, Belgium, China, Finland, Lithuania and various locations throughout the United States. His work can be seen at Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City. His biggest surprise of late is the discovery that the tools that he thought would direct his thinking to the future have led him to contemplate the art of the past. www.ebateman.com
Nemo Gould / Nemo Gould was born to artist parents in 1975, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named after the protagonist in Winsor McCay’s comic strip “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” Gould’s work has fittingly evolved to reflect the images and mythology of comic books and science fiction. Parallel to these influences was an irrepressible tendency towards collecting and dismantling anything with moving parts.
Gould earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1998, and his Master of Fine Arts degree at U.C. Berkeley in 2000. Once he was free of the constraints of contemporary art education he quickly threw himself into the pursuit of his childhood dreams. “My work appeals to the seven-year-old boy mind, because I still have one… I take silly very seriously.”
In the ensuing years he has produced a prolific body of work that attempts to reconcile the innocent wonder of youth with the dull complexity of the adult experience. “Most adults are dangerously lacking in wonder. As we age and learn more of the answers to life’s mysteries, I think we lose part of what keeps us alive. When I am working, I am always trying to make things that can produce a child-like response from a jaded adult”
In 2007 Gould was selected as Artist in Residence at San Francisco Recycling and Disposal, Inc.’s Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center, an opportunity highly coveted among the Bay Area’s found object artists, who are given free access to the tons of consumer detritus collected daily at the dump. This was a dream come true for the artist who had already spent a lifetime collecting worthless things to transform, and helped to cement his reputation among the makers of his generation. Gould’s work has been featured frequently in national media and is shown in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. www.nemogould.com
Dan Jones / www.flickr.com/photos/tinkerbots/
Viktor Koen / Viktor Koen is an award winning artist and educator. He holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel and an MFA with honors
from the School of Visual Arts. Mr. Koen serves on the faculty of the School of
Visual Arts in the Graduate and Undergraduate levels. His images are regularly
published in The NYTimes, Wall Street Journal and Nature magazine. His client
list includes Penguin, Random House, Doubleday, Harper Collins, Rizzoli,
Houghton Miflin, Tor, Time, Newsweek, Esquire, National Geographic, Rolling
Stone, Wired, ESPN, Man’s Journal, Bloomberg, Fortune, Money, Forbes, Nation,
BusinessWeek. His prints are exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States,
Europe, Japan and Australia. www.viktorkoen.com
Jason Lanegan / I make reliquaries or elaborate containers to hold and display objects. Each reliquary I construct implies a sense of history and significance regardless of the actual age or worth of the contained item. jasonlanegan.blogspot.com
Adam Larsen / (see "About the Curator" above) www.cricketmanpress.com
Dennis Smith /For the last forty years Dennis Smith’s work and presence has been a driving force in sculpture in the United States. His representations of families, mothers, and children in sculpture have become a national treasure. Join with us in celebration of Utah’s most prolific sculptor. His work is located in hundreds of public and private collections, in museums and public squares throughout the entire United States, and in many countries of the world.
Dennis Smith is as much a philosopher as he is an artist. His work is a window into who he is and his views on life. His impressionistic style captures his exuberance for life and embodies his passion for transcendence – expressed through the spontaneity of children, reflections of the past and hopes for the future. At the core of Dennis’ work is the spirit of the human soul. We often see this represented through the innocence of childhood. To Dennis, the child is a metaphor for life. Children’s lives, as they explore the world around them, parallel our lives as adults as we discover our identity in this universe. Each piece by Dennis Smith captures this spirit, still vibrant and alive, frozen in the moment of discovery. www.smithsculpture.com
Michael Ulman / The body of work you see here was created over the past 15 years, but the aesthetic has been cultivated through drawing, painting, fabrication and photography since I was a child. My passion to create was instilled at a young age while helping my father weld scraps of metal into sculptures twice my size. First there were motorcycles, then came hot rods, speed boats and airplanes. Eventually a leap was made to a fantasy world where machines were mixed with animals, people, and half-people. Motors and
engines have remained a constant theme throughout the years, as well as the challenge of capturing movement and power in static work.
Like most found-object sculptors, I can find materials for my art just about anywhere. Junk yards, dumpsters, yard sales, and trash heaps all provide wonderful places to hunt for the perfect piece, or to simply build inventory for future work. I cannot pass by a pile of junk without stopping to look. I take objects that were destined to some mundane existence, or discarded altogether, and give them new purpose through my sculptures. A grain scoop becomes a tank and a frying pan becomes a fender; an old caliper becomes a backbone and two scythes become wings. Remnants of the Industrial Age are reincarnated as components of fascinating new machines. Unlike most other artistic mediums, the process involved with creating found-object sculpture is a very dynamic one. Due to the nature of
acquiring one's materials, it is part hunt, part puzzle, part vision. It is cyclical and self-propagating. Often while I am looking for objects to fill a specific need in some current work, I end up finding something I wasn't looking for that provides the inspiration for new work. I've grown to understand my talent is in seeing beyond an object's intended purpose. Always looking, always finding, always building. www.michaelulman.com