April 3, 2017
Press Release - John Vokoun "horizons / structures"

horizons / structures

April 7 through May 6, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, April 7, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

David Richard Gallery, LLC
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite A1
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505) 983-9555

Artist John Vokoun Presents New Paintings That Layer Pigment And Digital Data In His First Solo Exhibition At David Richard Gallery April 7 Through May 6, 2017

David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce John Vokoun, horizons / structures, a solo exhibition of new contemporary abstract, mixed media paintings at 1570 Pacheco Street Suite A1, Santa Fe, NM 87505, phone: 505-983-9555. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, April 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and remain on view through May 6, 2017.  

Vokoun’s presentation, and debut with the gallery, represents a collection of new mixed media paintings created in response to the artist’s month-long residency in 2016 at Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico, part of the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) residency program in association with Chaco Culture National Historical Park of the National Park Service. This series of paintings was inspired by Vokoun’s reflection on the architecture, mark making, and symbolism of ancient Chacoan culture in contrast to our contemporary, technology-driven lives. The ground of many of the paintings is comprised of horizontal bands of color transitioning from ivories and blues at the top to fiery pinks, reds and oranges in the center that finally transition to earth tones at the bottom. These bands reference the reductive landscape and hues observed at sunrise and sunset in Chaco Canyon. Vokoun then laser cuts into the bands of pigment his computer data driven digital imagery that layers a new geometric vocabulary on top.

Vokoun designs on the computer, playing with corrupted data, and then he paints on canvases that are often laser-cut to line precision. “The horizons I see in this work are the New Mexico vistas I’ve been living with for a long time,” he says. “At Chaco I was influenced by the way the Earth comes up and meets the sky. It seems their whole structure and civilization was built that way, reflecting geography and topography, like those buildings were meant to reach the sky.”   

With a background in color field painting, Vokoun uses digital tools to explore the effects of the Information Age on contemporary culture. Influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung and mathematicians Henri Poincaré and Benoit Mandlebrot, he seeks universal patterns between systems. He believes shared modes of communication, symbols, gestures, and geometries can help us understand our evolution in a data saturated–world.

“Over the years working with corrupted computer data and elements of technology, I’ve thought a lot about the structures that make up our lives,” says Vokoun. This new series, horizons / structures, is part of Vokoun’s continued work reinterpreting data and its significance in our lives, as if translating line by line from one language to another abstract one. “When I was at Chaco, I thought about ancient cultures, their rituals and structures, and I thought about how our lives are constructed now,” he says. Vokoun’s works communicate by decomposing information to its basic units: data point, pixel, byte, and language—hinting at a source and rebuilding this into simple forms.

About John Vokoun:

A child of the personal computer era, John Vokoun has been fascinated with the computer as an art medium since he attended programming camp at age 9. From his first green and black CRT drawings on an Apple II to his present-day interaction with a variety of computerized machines, the computer’s influence on his work is only matched by the color field paintings of Albers, Itten, Kelly, and Rothko. With computer data and geometry, he seeks to channel the chaos of the Information Age into simple forms. Founder of Fire Dragon Color, a fine art printing company that has helped produce numerous award-winning books, Vokoun resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work has recently been exhibited at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

About David Richard Gallery:

Since its inception the gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field— in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery presents established and very new artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.

In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations.

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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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