Sophie Whettnall Exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

. November 6, 2010 . 0 Comments

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is pleased to present salt 2: Sophie Whettnall, the second in the museum’s new series of exhibitions showcasing innovative art from around the world. salt aims to reflect the international impact of contemporary art today, forging local connections to the global, and bringing new and diverse artwork to the city that shares the program’s name.

Organized by Jill Dawsey, UMFA acting chief curator and curator of modern and contemporary art, the second salt installation opens on November 18, 2010 and will remain on view through February 27, 2011 in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at the University of Utah. The exhibition will be located in and around a newly designed black box gallery on the UMFA’s first floor.

Featured artist Sophie Whettnall (b. 1973) will travel from Brussels to Salt Lake City to personally install three works: a video, a video installation, and a large-scale wall drawing. Whettnall works primarily in photography, video, performance, and site-specific installations, yet she is trained as a painter and much of her work takes up landscape, portraiture, and other themes traditionally associated with painting. Across and between mediums, Whettnall’s art explores the relationship between the self and its surroundings in a dislocated world.

A highlight of salt 2: Sophie Whettnall is Waterfall (2008), an installation that features a video projection in the UMFA’s black box gallery. In this work, Whettnall engages the temporal nature of video, creating images that move between stillness and activity. At first glance, Waterfall resembles a still photograph of a frozen waterfall. Upon closer inspection, however, one sees that a river slowly moves in real time at the foot of the falls, enhanced by strange sounds that crackle and echo through the landscape.

Whettnall will continue these themes of movement and time with a drawing on the outside wall of the salt 2: Sophie Whettnall gallery. Executed in white pencil on black paint, the untitled drawing may suggest an abstract river, with repeated parallel lines eventually converging in ripples and waves. Resembling a topographical map, this drawing will also record the artist’s own gestures as she draws.

Another gesture is traced through a third work of art in salt 2: Sophie Whettnall. In the video Over the Sea (2007), viewers follow the determined footsteps of a woman in high heels as she makes her way from an urban space to a quiet spot overlooking the sea. At the conclusion of the video, the camera moves quickly between her heels to rest on the sight of the ocean, highlighting the human figure as a meeting point between nature and culture, public and private, self and surrounds.

salt 2: Sophie Whettnall is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States . Whettnall has had many solo exhibitions throughout Europe, and has been included in numerous group exhibitions in France, Spain, China, Italy, and Belgium. For more information, please visit www.sophiewhettnall.com.

The UMFA’s salt series affirms the Museum’s commitment to the art of today and tomorrow, demonstrating that contemporary art is vital, dynamic, and socially relevant.

Programming
Visiting Artist Talk: A Conversation with Artist Sophie Whettnall
November 18, 2010 at 6 pm
Join Jill Dawsey, UMFA acting chief curator and curator of modern and contemporary art, for a conversation with salt 2 artist, Sophie Whettnall. Learn about Whettnall’s artistic practice and philosophy in this free public program, and be among the first to experience salt 2.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located on the University of Utah campus in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in discovering meaningful connections with the artistic expressions of the world’s cultures. General admission is $7 adults, $5 youth and seniors, FREE for U of U students/staff/faculty, UMFA members, higher education students in Utah, and children under six years old. Free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays.

For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.

Category: Fine Art News

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