June 1, 2014
Paul Pascarella
Art News, June 2014
Ann Landi


Paul Pascarella
Art News, June 2014
Ann Landi

Paul Pascarells's 16 recent works call to mind several venerable traditions: Japanese screen painting, Asian landscape in general, and Abstract Expressionism, especially of the spontaneous Pollock drip school. Divided into triptychs, the six large paintings here -- biggest 60 bu 90 inches -- deftly incorporated bits of collage along with spatters and ripples of paint, and they conveyed enough gestural ebullience to suggest the sheer joy of their making. In Asia (2013) and Imaginary Beings (2014), in particular, there are hints of figuration and suggestions of plant and animal life that stop short of literal-minded depictions of actual anatomies. Dance (2013) conjures both a parade of Chinese paper dragons and a swirl of sashaying geishas. It's when Pascarella veers into territory way too reminiscent of Pollock, in both palette and gestures, that his airy sense of space and command of color and medium begin to feel tired. This is as true in the big paintings like New Moon 3 (2010) as it is in smaller works such as New Moon 4 (2011). The diminutive 16-by-12 inch panels that carry the most punch -- such as Kasahara and Beach (both 2012) -- succeed because they've been injected with enough air to let the viewer's imagination roam (and roam away from the artist's 1950s antecedents).

All the paintings could have benefited from a different configuration in the gallery; they were basically deployed in a L-shape, forcing the viewer to round a corner in a way that didn't allow the smaller and larger works to play off each other. But no matter how they are seen, Pascarella's canvases at their best have a sophistication and energy that are as timeless as they are seductive.

-Ann Landi

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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