Monday, January 30, 2023

New Exhibitions at Granary Arts

Granary Arts is pleased to present new exhibitions:

Walking the Dark / John Sproul
John Sproul creates work at the intersection between the subconscious and conscious state as he explores primal narratives and the paradox of being human. In his paintings, he places the figure as a central performer, a narrative guide moving through emotionally saturated tableaus of curiosity, vulnerability, and uncertainty. The large scale works absorb the audience into the scene and we become participants in the story.

While the paintings are deeply personal – they also address universal themes of fear, the need to be loved, body image, loneliness, and ego. The exhibition Walking The Dark embraces a nuanced emotional and socially engaged experience of the world, a perspective that stems from a desire to learn, understand, and ultimately evolve. Sproul’s creative practice is both therapeutic and exploratory. Sproul says, “My purpose is not to wallow, but to walk through these issues and discover what is beyond. To find healing and acceptance of myself and others as we are. To find the truth of us. I hope to find a little more light to see through the dark.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST
John Sproul (b. 1968, Los Angeles, CA) works with the figure to explore human identity and experience as a means of understanding of the world and himself. He has had over 20 solo exhibitions and participated in over 120 group exhibitions internationally including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; The Painting Center, New York; the Bipolar Projects, Barcelona; Galerie Metanoia, Paris; The Kunstwerk Carlshutte, Germany; and the Sienna Art Institute, Italy. He earned a BFA from the University of Utah in 1993.

As an active member of the arts community and advocate of the arts, Sproul served on the Utah Museum of Fine Arts FOCA Executive Committee (2006-2013); founded and directed the Foster Art Program (2009-2011); founded and directed the Utah Contemporary Art Think Tank (2010-2011); owned & directed Nox Contemporary Art Gallery (2010-2022); and is the director of The Art Group (2007-present). Sproul currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Waterman: Coloring the Stranger / Jiyoun Lee-Lodge
Waterman: Coloring the Stranger explores the adaptation of a stranger in a new place. Jiyoun Lee-Lodge began this series as a journal-like notation when she moved from New York to Utah, and struggled to settle in. The persona of Waterman acts as a stand-in for both personal and universal experience while referencing pop culture, and themes of alienation and belonging. Lee-Lodge began this multi-year series by asking:

“If I mimic what an ideal life looks like in a new place, will I blend in well?”

She illustrates herself as shifting water that repels, absorbs, reflects – a figure struggling to find a place within its environment. The soft aspen backgrounds reflect her notions of “a better life” in Utah, traced in a delicate thin line as though it might dissolve into the scene when the viewer loses focus.

Inspired by Edward Hopper’s works, Lee-Lodge continued to explore displacement, anxiety, and isolation throughout the pandemic. She was confined to her house, experiencing absolute solitude and loneliness in a space meant to provide comfort. She mediated her access to the outside world through a screen – a digital window – that acted as both a means of connection and a source of alienation. A window that opens to excess: ideas, information, the deluge of emojis, and the exhausting cacophony of what Bo Burham calls “anything and everything all of the time.”

Lee-Lodge navigates alienation caused by the pursuit of an ideal life. In the film “Pleasantville” the story begins in black-and-white, reflecting a perfect, ideal, and emotionless world. As the primary character opens themselves to feeling, the world turns to color little by little. Lee-Lodge draws a parallel between her process of “coloring” the Waterman to an acceptance and transcendence of her hope for active and open communication among people, just like the film. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jiyoun Lee-Lodge is a Korean-born, Salt Lake City, Utah based artist who works in painting, drawing, installation, and public art. Her work explores her personal identity in flux, the fragility of memory, and how people process and change. Her selected exhibitions include Modern West Fine Arts, UMOCA (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art), Gallery Mint, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Bountiful Davis Arts Center, Salt Lake Community College Gallery, Jamaica Center for Arts, Gallery Korea, Art Mora, 437CO gallery, and more. She won the Utah Statewide Annual (2019), Small Matters Exhibition, and was nominated as an NYC Urban Canvas finalist. Lee-Lodge has completed public commissioned murals for PS144Q, Forest Hills, NY (2019) and 600 South TRAX station in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the recipient of the UMOCA Artist-in-Residence, Modern West Fine Arts Artist-in-Residency, Manhattan Graphics Center Workspace Fellowship in New York, ArtMora Residency Program in New York; and a Teaching fellowship at Brooklyn College.

Attached Images
John Sproul, I Got Old, 2022 (jpg)
Jiyoun Lee Lodge, Waterman You and I #1, 2022 (jpg)

Granary Arts is supported in part by Utah Division of Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts, VIA Art Fund in partnership with Wagner Foundation, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, The Paul T. Walton Jr. Charitable Foundation, The Sam and Diane Stewart Family Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, The Ephraim City RAP Tax Fund, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, Sites Set for Knowledge and Utah Humanities, Sanpete County Travel, and generous support from Ephraim City. 

Press Release
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