January 23, 2014
Dreamy disquiet in Matthew Penkala's colorful paintings
The Los Angeles Times, 01/23/2014
David Pagel


Dreamy disquiet in Matthew Penkala's colorful paintings
The Los Angeles Times, 01/23/2014
David Pagel

The colors of Matthew Penkala’s paintings are the first things you notice: baby blue, tangerine and cotton-candy pink, alongside creamy green, icy white and screaming yellow. The next thing you notice is that the synthetic rainbow of electric pastels that Penkala has sprayed onto his 4-foot-square canvases gets weirder the longer you look.

And that’s when things get even more interesting. The hallucinatory buzz settles into a groove that sets you to thinking.

Unlike so much of what makes up today’s visual landscape, Penkala’s paintings are slow burns. Combining the instantaneous appeal of eye-grabbing attractions with the lasting satisfactions of time-tested abstractions, his seven new works in "The Day You Crossed a Nova: New Paintings" at Western Project treat viewers to luxuries rarely found in contemporary art: reverie and introspection.

These luxuries are not comforts. Penkala’s paintings lure viewers into worlds of great beauty. But they never let you get comfortable — much less lost — in such dreamy expanses. The illusion of infinity is shattered because each canvas is composed as if it were a painting within a painting, or three paintings melted into a conflicted, even tormented, whole.

The internal edges create a sensation of abrupt, violent cutting. Their disruptiveness recalls the torn edges of collages and the overlapping windows on a computer screen — raised to the 10th power. These laser-sharp borders always seem to come too soon, cutting off a view or an experience or an emotion before it has had time to ripen.

In Penkala’s poignant pictures of over-the-rainbow gorgeousness, niggling suspicions grow into queasy uncertainties that often give way to profound doubts about the effectiveness of anything and the point of it all. Dreamy disquiet never looked better, or more subtly unsettling.

Source Link:   More information

Associated Artist

Associated Exhibitions

Associated News

  • June 23, 2016

  • January 23, 2014

News Archive

March 27, 2019
March 16, 2019
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
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.

September 12, 2014
February 15, 2014
January 31, 2014
September 12, 2013
December 18, 2012
September 26, 2012
May 31, 2012
September 21, 2011