Art

See Works by Five Arizona Artists in a New Exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum

Matt Magee's Pink Moth Hanger is a 2017 composition of  detergent bottles, wire, aluminum rods, and woodblock.
Matt Magee's Pink Moth Hanger is a 2017 composition of detergent bottles, wire, aluminum rods, and woodblock. Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum will be showing works by five Arizona artists starting on Thursday, May 24. It’s part of an annual tradition at the museum, which recognizes the accomplishments of mid-career and emerging artists.

The Contemporary Forum, one of several support organizations for the museum, presents an artist award and artist grants each spring. The following year, chosen artists are featured in an exhibition at the museum.

The museum is getting ready to open the 2018 exhibit, which includes works by artists recognized in 2017.

The “Contemporary Forum Artists’ Grants Winners and Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award Exhibition” will be on view through Sunday, November 4. Featured artists include Matt Magee, Laura Spalding Best, Jennifer Day, Casey Farina, and Christopher Jagmin.


click to enlarge A 2018 mixed-media composition by Jennifer Day. - PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
A 2018 mixed-media composition by Jennifer Day.
Phoenix Art Museum
Day is based in Tucson, as well as Santa Fe, New Mexico. The others live and work in metro Phoenix.

Magee received the 2017 Arlene and Morton Scult Award, so the 2018 Contemporary Forum exhibit that opens this month will include a mid-career survey of his work, in addition to new works by last year’s grant winners.

The 2018 Contemporary Forum exhibit includes nearly two dozen works by Magee, including several oil paintings on panels, as well as sculptures made with wire, and forms created from detergent bottles. One work, titled Prima Materia, comprises dozens of objects he’s gathered since 1981.

The museum is dedicating two galleries to the exhibition, both located on the lower level. When viewers descend the stairs, the first thing they’ll see is Magee’s Star Map 1 and Star Map 2, which the artist painted specifically for this show. Every Magee work featured in the exhibit was created in 2017 or 2018.

click to enlarge Laura Spalding Best's 2018 oil on found objects Tributary I . - PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
Laura Spalding Best's 2018 oil on found objects Tributary I .
Phoenix Art Museum
The other artists created new works as well.

The exhibit includes five Micrologies video sculptures Farina made in 2018, in addition to a 2018 video projection with sound titled Morphologies. Farina’s work has previously been shown at several Phoenix venues, including Bentley Projects and the Mountain Shadows art gallery curated by John Reyes.

Jagmin is showing two micron pen-on-paper pieces created in 2017, which were part of his "Words Matter" exhibit at Chartreuse gallery. Viewers will also see a trio of new works, titled I Hate Everything, I’m Sorry for Everything, and I Said I Am. The latter features unconventional materials, including label maker tape and push pins.

Taken together, these pieces reflect Jagmin’s passion for graphic design and text, and his attention to the prevalence of personal and collective angst in the present moment of American life. And they demonstrate the ways his art practice has evolved since his joint 2016 exhibit with Patricia Sannit at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

click to enlarge Chris Jagmin's  I Hate Everything, 2018, micron pen and graphite on paper. - PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
Chris Jagmin's I Hate Everything, 2018, micron pen and graphite on paper.
Phoenix Art Museum
The exhibition also includes three works by Laura Spalding Best, whose "Inferior Mirage" exhibition at Chartreuse was one of 2016's best. Best creates oil paintings on found objects, including silver trays. Often, they reference real or imagined urban landscapes, much like her murals located in Roosevelt Row and on Grand Avenue.

Day is showing four large-scale mixed-media works, created using acrylic, spray paint, flashe, collage, pencil, paint pens, crayon, and glitter on canvas. Flashe is a vinyl-based pigment that creates a matte, opaque appearance. Like many of the artists in this show, Day chooses titles that prompt viewer curiosity, such as View all 14 comments and Santa Rosa, aftermath.

The “Contemporary Forum Artists’ Grants Winners and Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award Exhibition” runs from Thursday, May 24, to Sunday, November 4, at Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibit is free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. The free opening reception takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23. Get details on the museum's website.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble