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Get Used to It (Detail)

Jared Steffensen and Christopher Kelly: Get Used To It

Get Used To It by Utah artists Jared Steffensen and Christopher Kelly is a site-specific immersive collaborative installation that explores the interior space of CUAC. Steffensen and Kelly draw from a variety of aesthetic sources making reference to urban art, geometric abstraction, minimalism, and hard-edge (abstraction), while at the same time challenging artistic traditions of painting and sculpture. The use of color in Get Used to It, although referential to minimalism and abstraction, also liberates it from the expected two-dimensional form. In this case, it comes out from the walls or pedestals (associated with sculpture) projecting into and throughout the space. The pedestals are transformed into the foundational piece out which curves, lines, and planes jet out into the space in an array of bold colors and black. There is also preference on form over subject in the emphasis of shape and repetition.

Prismatic colors and the white from the gallery walls become both shape and form while mirroring the infrastructure of the galley space. It also draws from the backgrounds of both artists: Christopher’s experience as a props and set designer and Jared’s interest in street and skateboarding—both of which connect their practice and interest in action, interaction, and reaction. Also connecting both artists, are the materials used in creating the installation: found objects or leftovers from other projects such as off cuts, leftover sheet goods, plumbing, and electrical conduit, which are adapted to transform and mirror the inner workings of the space’s pipes, conducts, cables, and walls.

Structure, space, and movement are collapsed in Get Used to It. CUAC has been transformed into a fantasy-scape or environment in which both artists explore movement within and around the constructed world. Get Used to It Steffensen and Kelly disrupt the separation of art-object from the audience/viewer forcing the latter into becoming an active participant of the piece. Action is translated into colorful visual pathways that create energy and movement among audience members, uninhibited by gravity through the architectural space.

Jared Steffensen was born in Fairfax, Virginia. He earned a BFA in Intermedia Sculpture from the University of Utah (2002) and a MFA from the University of Texas at Austin (2006). He was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant (2006). His work has been exhibited throughout the US, Mexico, Germany, and The Netherlands. He is currently the Curator of Exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Christopher Kelly grew up in Orem, Utah. Graduated with a BFA in sculpture from the University of Utah (2012). He has exhibited extensively throughout Utah at institutions such as the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City), Artspace Commons (Salt Lake City), and Granary Center (Ephram, UT). He currently resides in Salt Lake City where he works in the film industry and maintains a studio practice.

 

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Gift

SCOTT MALBAURN: Cake

Scott Malbaurn is an artist whose work follows the tradition of hard-edge, minimalism, and geometric abstraction. The paintings that compose Cake are flat color fields with lines that run, zoom, and carve themselves through the surface. By adopting abstraction, Malbaurn amplifies the astonishment of the spectator, creating compositions that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.

The paintings appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. With a subtle minimalistic approach, there are personal moments created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal.

The viewer may find a useful set of dynamic tools for maneuvering with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of painting: these planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of geometry. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, I attempt to create work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found. The work is aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral imagery is used.

Scott Malbaurn (b. 1976 Connecticut) lives and works in Southern Oregon. He received his BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (2001) and MFA from Pratt Institute (2004). His work has been exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at Janet Kurnatowski (Brooklyn, NY). He has also had group exhibitions at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland, OR), The Noyes Museum (Absecon, NJ), Kunsthalle Beacon (KuBe) (Beacon, NY), David Richard Gallery (Santa Fe, NM), Rogue Art Space (New York, NY), Kunsthalle Galapagos (Brooklyn, NY), Denise Bibro (New York, NY) Platform (New York, NY), Envoy Enterprises (New York, NY), New Bedford Museum of Art (New Bedford, MA), and The H. Lewis Gallery (Baltimore, MD). Select publications include The Brooklym Rail, dArt International Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, WagMag, ArtCritical.com, and The Standard Times. Since 2001 Malbaurn is also known for his curatorial practice with projects at The Schneider Museum of Art (Ashland, OR), Platform (New York, NY), Hunter College (New York, NY), Janet Kurnatowski (Brooklyn, NY), Landing Space (Brooklyn, NY), and H. Lewis Gallery (Baltimore, MD). Malbaurn has taught Fine Art at Pratt Institute and Southern Oregon University. He has lectured at Shasta College, Louisiana College, and Bringham Young University.