March 31, 2017
Julian Stanczak on the Power of Red
ArtInfo, 03/31/2017


Julian Stanczak on the Power of Red
ArtInfo, 03/31/2017

Editor's note: This article, written by Julian Stanczak, appears in the May 2017 issue of Modern Painters magazine. Artinfo is publishing it online in advance of that issue to honor Stanczak, who passed away this week at the age of 88.

Each color has its own secrets. Red has a specific and powerful behavior and wants to be enjoyed with absolute clarity and energy. In its interaction with other colors and wavelengths, red is reluctant to change. It always insists on self-preservation. It is singular, stoic, mesmerizing. The red surface emits light, energy. Red also invites the element of time.

It is a joy to look at the flamboyance of red. It enters our memory, not with a whisper, but with a shout. Just as the unexpected sound of a brass instrument shatters and subjugates the tumult of all other sounds.

In this painting, I wanted to have a particular red with a central division. Centrality always points back to “me.” In the case of “Trespassing Light,” both sides want to escape from the central rectilinear compression, which only desires stillness.

It is difficult to control the energy of red and to mold it together with lines and shapes into an envisioned totality. To do so demands scrutiny of observation. To make my red metamorphic and accepting of other interactions and wavelengths, I added green and blue. The proportion and size of interruptions made the red more ephemeral, giving each passage different visual characteristics.

Color has to be dished out in particular measures. Formations are easy to talk about, but color behavior shifts constantly. We need shapes for measurement of actions. Colors and shapes whisper to each other—if one knows how to listen to them.

My paintings are painted in stages. Here the green and blue bars were painted first. Then I applied tape (one-sixteenth-inch), covering the portions of the blue and green fields that I wanted to preserve. These fine lines emit light and have the energy to greatly influence the fields around them. Then red was applied over the whole canvas. At this stage, everything was “blind.” I didn’t know what the painting would look like or whether it would be successful. Then I removed the tape, revealing the energy of the color interaction.

I wanted “Trespassing Light” to appear effortless. I wanted to “hear” the red shout, and I am satisfied with the outcome.

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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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