SALT LAKE CITY —A new exhibition, Iterations, will be on view at the Alice Gallery Sept. 16 –Nov. 11, 2016. The exhibition features artwork by Utah artists Sue Martin and Nancy Vorm. A public reception will be held on Sept 16th from 6-9 p.m. in collaboration with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.
Inspired by artists past and present who are known for iterations (Cezanne, Monet, and Jasper Johns, to name a few), Sue Martin and Nancy Vorm give viewers a glimpse into their creative processes, both intensely introspective and playful.
Sue Martin selected a single photograph taken on a trip to Zion National Park in February. She reflected on the times she has stopped at that very place, each time with a different travel companion, to snap a picture. Geological layering and erosion became a metaphor for layering and erosion of memory.
“After three paintings, I set the photo aside and worked from memory,” Martin said. “Without all that detail in front of me, I could select those elements that were most memorable and play with color, line, and texture that expressed the essence of the memory.”
Nancy Vorm’s abstract encaustic paintings incorporate inks, rust, monotype prints, and collaged elements to create a surface that is richly textured through many layers of beeswax. Her iterative journey began when a friend gave her some rusted metal pieces in flower shapes. With a roll of her eyes that said, “I don’t do flowers,” she nevertheless began to imagine ways to make the motif her own. Printing the rusted objects on paper, and using walnut and India inks on Kozopapers, she began to add patterns, then to overlap and layer elements, until the motif was less a flower and more a shape and texture to incorporate into her many-layered abstractions.
Vorm’s use of Martin’s “layer” motif in some of her pieces was a nod to the collaborative spirit the two artists developed over the five months of working together.
“The textured, multi-colored layers found in the Utah landscape first attracted me to Utah,” Vorm said. “Since my encaustic process involves many layers of wax and paint, this motif is appropriate.”
Vorm’s work reflects her most important artistic influences: Robert Rauschenberg’s collages and Antoni Tapies’s encaustic texturing and color palette. The artists agree that the iterative focus and collaborative process have taken their evolution as artists to new frontiers. For Vorm, it was her initial resistance to using an image as common as a flower that led her to explore new ways of mark making and collaging elements. Martin challenged herself to change processes in order to move iteratively toward abstraction.
The Alice Gallery is free and open to the public Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Gabino Flores will perform during Gallery Stroll on Friday, September 16. Flores is a classical guitarist and conductor at Utah Classical Guitar Orchestra.
Images available upon request.