August 31, 2011
“Artists who write write for a purpose” by George Hofmann artcritical Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

This article launches a new column, BOOKMARKED, in which artists, critics, collectors and other guests are invited to share and comment on their favorite blogs and art-related sites (present company – artcritical – taken as read!)

As an artist I am most drawn these days to reading blogs of other working artists.

In the painter Paul Corio’s “No Hassle at the Castle”, a ‘weblog on painting, horse racing and other subjects’ (the other subjects being mostly jazz and politics) I feel I am in a conversation with an informed and critical mind. Recently, Corio came to grips with Romanticism, in response to Mark Stone’s “Henri Art Magazine”, which has been preoccupied with ‘Romanticism in America” – perhaps the single most enterprising and enlightening analysis I’ve encountered in years on this subject – one which lurks in the background of every artist’s thinking. Stone writes, for example, about DeKooning, and why he was different, especially at the end, from the other Abstract Expressionists – that his work was both transcendent and physical. More lately, Stone on Courbet is something every painter should read.

I’ve also encountered “Immaterial Culture”, by the pseudonymous d.richmond; this, again, is writing from the heart. An artist like d. richmond writes out of a need to know, for his work. Sharon L. Butler’s “Two Coats of Paint” and Joanne Mattera’s “Art Blog” are two others I frequently look at.

What sets apart the artist’s blogs is their earnestness and faith. Critics analyze and dissect, but do they write from the heart, as artists do? Artists may wish to promote themselves, but in writing they are usually working, and thinking.

It is the spirit of inquiry that sets the artists apart: they strive to understand, and the blogs give us the conversation, the searching coming to grips that once animated the New York scene when everyone lived below 14th Street.

Artists who write write for a purpose. They may be working out their own trajectories, erratic and capricious, but, mostly, they are writing out of necessity. This is a big part of what now actually moves art along; in my view, we need it.

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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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