--Shelbey Peterson, UMFA Public Relations and Marketing Associate,
Shelbey.Peterson@umfa.utah.edu, 801.585.1306, cell 801-580-7848
--Jill Dawsey, UMFA Acting Chief Curator/Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art,
Selections from the Permanent Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
On view through February 13, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT- The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) presents Faces: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, now on view through February 13, 2011 in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at the University of Utah. This dynamic installation brings together classic works of Pop art and more recent Pop-inflected works, with a focus on portraiture and the human face.
Located in a gallery on the UMFA’s first floor, the installation comprises some thirty-eight works by artists who participated in or were influenced by the Pop art movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, Pop art introduced new subject matter to the artistic sphere, elevating imagery from the common culture and everyday life—including pictures of Hollywood icons and ordinary people alike— to the level of art.
Faces features work by artists Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Robert Arneson, Larry Rivers, and Chris Johanson. The exhibition opens with never-before-exhibited Polaroid portraits by Andy Warhol, one of the most influential and provocative artists of the twentieth century. The UMFA received these works in 2008 as a gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Portraits of the rich and famous—ranging from celebrity icons to unnamed socialites and party-goers—the Polaroids demonstrate Warhol’s consistent artistic process, his interest in mass-produced media, and fascination with glamour and fame.
Portraiture takes a variety of forms throughout the Faces exhibition. A series of fourteen screen prints by artist Alex Katz depicts young people in the late 1970s, each image rendered with a sharp, direct focus. Robert Arneson, on the other hand, takes a sardonic approach to rendering his own likeness in Head Bath, a crayon on paper drawing that depicts the artist swimming in his own brain—and Untitled Trophy (Bust of Bob), an earthenware sculpture that takes the form of a diminutive, self-deprecating “trophy.”
Faces concludes with a contemporary sculpture by artist Chris Johanson titled This is You (2002). A member of the group of artists dubbed the “Mission School,” who emerged in San Francisco in the 1990s , Johanson works in a flat, intentionally naïve style reminiscent of children’s drawings. Drawing inspiration from street culture, environmentalism, and graffiti art, This is You utilizes discarded materials, putting pieces of found wood and metal to new use.
Faces: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art reflects the UMFA’s aim to present high-quality exhibitions that feature key works from the permanent collection. The exhibition will remain on view through February 13, 2011. More information is available at umfa.utah.edu.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building on the University of Utah campus at 410 Campus Center Drive. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in discovering meaningful connections with the artistic expressions of the world’s cultures. Admission is $7 adults, $5 seniors and youth ages 6-18, children 5 and under free, UMFA Members free. Free admission is offered on the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Fund. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit umfa.utah.edu.