January 25, 2012
Art In America, February 2012
Jan Ernst Adlmann


Art In America, February 2012
Jan Ernst Adlmann

David Solomon has been an active member of the Santa Fe art community for the 11 years he has lived here, as both a painter and an independent curator. His latest exhibition demonstrated not only his artistic maturity but also his consistent drive toward pictorial originality.

All 15 works (2010 or ’11) are oil on aluminum panel and range from 1 to 3 feet to a side. The paint appears to float on the surface. The lustrous Knowledge of Good and Evil exemplifies Solomon’s nimble compositions. Its forms evoke microscopic life, like zygotes, amoebas or paramecia, strange things seen in a droplet of water. A quivering yellow blob, with a white-dotted black shape hovering inside it like a cell’s nucleus, seems about to be pierced by a striated projectile that is pointed at both ends. The latter form is recurrent at varying sizes throughout the canvases, and can recall a leaf, a football or a blimp. In Unknown Fruits, it appears more like a large green crescent. Complications Arise, Beauty Persists contains three of the projectiles: two are black with white stripes, the other yellow and gray-green. They are superimposed on a large peach-colored shape that looks like a speech bubble.

While most of the works are completely abstract, several approach figuration. In Mother and Child, a biomorphic blue form outlined in peach dominates the canvas, evoking a child in swaddling. It is watched over by a black shape with a single, moonlike gray eye that looms behind the child. On the pinkish-red ground in Versions of the What #3, three glowing red orbs and a dripping passage of horizontal yellow strokes frame a lively presence that leans in from the canvas’s right side. The tripartite form, in black, white, red and blue, resembles a cartoonish figure, its boxy torso supporting a grinning head topped by three antennalike protuberances.

Born in Kingston, N.Y., in 1976, Solomon studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he worked as a studio assistant to Frank Lobdell, whose formal vocabulary Solomon sometimes echoes.

Prehistoric petroglyphs scattered throughout the landscape in the environs of Santa Fe have certainly informed the artist’s work. Consciously or not, Solomon’s paintings share their sprightly yet numinous qualities.

—Jan Ernst Adlmann

Art In America, February 2012
Jan Ernst Adlmann

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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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