June 12, 2019
Color Theory explores math and visual at GOCA, plus more events this week
Colorado Spring Independent
June 12, 2019
Alissa Smith
News

Daisy McGowan, executive director of UCCS’ Galleries of Contemporary Art, promises that GOCA curates its exhibits for the general public, not specialists. So even though the premise of Color Theory, GOCA’s newest exhibit, may be based on mathematical theory and science, its appeal is not only intellectual, but sensual. “First and foremost, it is a visually stunning exhibition that will really, you know, pull you in and have a lot to offer, without knowing the depth of the mathematical formulas,” McGowan says. But she adds that she hopes it opens viewers’ eyes to the kinship between math and art, between aesthetic beauty and the so-called hard sciences.

Each of the three Colorado-based artists featured in the exhibition, Clark Richert, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz and Andrew Huffman, had their own such awakening as they embarked on their artistic journeys. Clark Richert, a regionally and nationally influential artist and emeritus faculty with the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, grew up in a family of scientists and believed he would be a scientist as well. But McGowan says Richert’s experiences with Abstract Impressionism — plus inspiration from architect Buckminster Fuller and artist Mark Rothko — changed his outlook. Now he fuses the natural world with mathematics and color theory. “He’s really interested in symmetry and the quasi-crystal patterns that are found in nature,” McGowan says, “and then theoretical mathematics. And some of those theories are of his own making.”

GOCA presents a selection of his paintings and sculptures, as two retrospective exhibits of his work open: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and one at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Another featured artist, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz, is also an accomplished mathematician in her own right. She has a master’s degree in theoretical mathematics, but didn’t want to spend her career in front of a blackboard. “So she went back to another interest of hers — ceramics — and going back to grad school for visual art, found an interest in fusing those two sides of her brain, so to speak,” McGowan says. Friedman-Gerlicz’s sculptural works all start with a mathematical formula — expressed both in color and structure. By introducing measured changes to those formulas, she creates a structure that is all at once planned and intuitive, and makes these formulas tangible for viewers.

The final artist featured in Color Theory, Andrew Huffman, considers his work to be more improvisational, even likening it to jazz. Even so, there are undeniable patterns in the way his works come together, and all are based on geometric forms. McGowan says he uses air and light as their own mediums, which will be evident in the installation piece he has designed specifically to complement the architecture of the Ent Center: Stair Projection. “It stair-steps down these blocks of string color,” McGowan says, “and as you move across it, it changes and morphs almost like a moiré pattern.”

If you’d like these experts to help explain the mathematical and scientific inspiration behind what they do, join GOCA for a gallery chat and reception on June 15.

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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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