EXHIBITION OPENING: Dark Sun by Anna Betbeze @ UMOCA

CONTACT: Christie Marcy
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017
 
 
 
 
 


Black Sun
Anna Betbeze
2017

2017 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting Winner 
Anna Betbeze

UMOCA Street Gallery 
September 22, 2017 through January 14, 2018
SALT LAKE CITY, UT- Anna Betbeze, winner of the 2017 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, will be featured in Dark Sun-a solo exhibition of Betbeze's artwork at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) from September 22, 2017 through January 14, 2018.
 
Betbeze uses fire, water, acids and colorful industrial-strength dyes to create large-scale abstract paintings on wool rugs. With vivid hues and battered sculptural surfaces, Betbeze's works are layered and visceral. She describes this experience as "when seeing becomes breathing, stroking, tasting and sound-often simultaneously."
 
By using natural processes, Betbeze's work is a collaboration with nature-one where she establishes a starting point but accepts that eventually things will end up out of her control.
 
By exploring the dichotomies of abjection/beauty, abandonment/care and destruction/creation, each hide-like painting gives the viewer a sense that they were found in their decayed but colorful state rather than made, allowing them to fluctuate anachronistically between historical and contemporary.
 
Dark Sun also includes a new series of  works on paper which continues her investigation of the inherent qualities of her materials. In this case, Betbeze explores the paper's rate of absorption through her use of saturated pigments, staining and layered media, illuminating Betbeze's thought process. The vibrant colors are applied as liquid pooling, covering and congealing into imagery that is just out of reach to the viewer. 
 
Like the recent eclipse where the moon negated the sun, providing a moment of darkness and reflection on our relationship to light, Betbeze's paintings are born from a simulate negation. Using destruction as a force for creation, what remains are works that can be sensed and seen.
 
"I work with nature in that way-a collaboration," says Betbeze. "In the season of the eclipse when the sun is covered it provides a moment of negation of light, which becomes a time to reflect on light-in darkness. This also seems appropriate to the work, to work with negative forces in order to create something new from it. I work with negation, removal destruction, in order to create a reflection on the other. I think of the works as cosmological as well as ecological."
 
Jared Steffensen, curator of exhibitions, says, "UMOCA is honored to provide visitors the opportunity to view Anna's work in person. Her paintings are meant to be experienced rather than merely looked at from a distance-they implore the viewer to conduct an intensive investigation of their materiality, color and surface."
 
 
 
 
Dark Sun opens at UMOCA on September 22, 2017 with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m., and will be exhibited through January 14 in UMOCA's Street Gallery. 
 
 
 
About the Artist 
Anna Betbeze (b. 1980, Mobile, AL) has had solo exhibitions at Nina Johnson Miami, Markus Lüttgen Cologne, Luxembourg & Dayan in London, Kate Werble Gallery New York, and Francois Gebaly, Los Angeles. Her work has been shown at institutions such as MOMA PS1Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary ArtMusee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and among other galleries and institutions around the world.  Her works are in the permanent collections of The Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the High Museum in Atlanta. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters, New York Magazine, Frieze, and The Los Angeles Times. She is a recent recipient of the Rome Prize. Betbeze grew up in Columbus, Georgia and currently lives in New York City. 

 
 
About The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting 
The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting is an unrestricted cash prize awarded every two years to an innovative painter practicing in the United States. Created by The Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation (JCDFF), the prize is in its fourth iteration having first been awarded to artist Kim Schoenstadt in 2011, followed by Tala Madani in 2013, Firelei Báez in 2015 and now Anna Betbeze in 2017.


 
 
 
About the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) has advanced and elevated the community of contemporary arts and culture since it was established in 1931. UMOCA is a fearless voice for innovation, experimentation and dialogue surrounding the topics of our time. Located in the heart of Salt Lake City, UMOCA invites curiosity and promotes understanding of the challenging concepts that art and its reflective social commentary can present. UMOCA is a force for social transformation that unites all points of view, backgrounds, experience, and ages through pertinent art exhibitions and educational programming. UMOCA evokes change, challenges ideologies, celebrates triumph, and introduces an array of contemporary voices with in the Museum and throughout the community.
 
UMOCA is a five-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and a 2015 and 2016 recipient of the Art Works Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
 
UMOCA is a 501c3 institution that is supported by public foundation, and corporate gifts. Your donation in any amount is greatly appreciated, and admission is a $5 suggested donation.
 

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