by Lenka Konopasek
Artist's Talk: Sat, Jan 26, 3:30pm
Reception: Sat, Jan 26, 4pm
Lenka Konopasek was born in the Czech Republic where she attended School of Applied Arts in Prague. After immigrating to the United States, she received BFA degree from University of Utah and MFA degree from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. She attended artist residencies in Vermont Studio Center, Chicago Art Institute and Little Falls, Minnesota.
Her paintings have been exhibited widely throughout United States, Taiwan, Germany, India and Czech Republic. She also completed several large public art projects in Utah. Her work has been featured on the back cover of the New American Painting and in other publications. Lenka has been involved in co-owning an art gallery in Salt Lake City and in Denver and working for the Salt Lake Art Center, Visual Art Institute and Utah Arts Festival. She has been teaching at University of Utah and Westminster College in Salt Lake City and other art institutions and schools throughout the city.
My paintings represent a collision between nature and people. Nature is shown in its extreme stage during manmade disasters and enormous sandstorms. It is a struggle of wills where human structures are being reclaimed and handicapped by nature’s might. It shows our advanced technology being fractured and swallowed by natural elements.
These paintings are also political. They question the idea of what belongs and what is being artificially implanted on the environment. The foreign shapes of manmade objects in my paintings contradict the landscape creating a twisted reality. The menacing presence of the enormous landslide indicates indifference to the human activity and creates atmosphere of impending doom.
I started working on the paper cut out as an addition to my paintings dealing with disasters. Initially, I was attracted to the paper pop-up technique for its playfulness and accessibility. But I wanted to bring in a more sinister subject to the work.
Like in my paintings there is a quiet beauty in these 3D cut outs that is deceiving. Upon a longer observation they bring up questions of longevity, consequences of human behavior, differences in cultures and national attitudes.
Whether people engage in wars with nature or with each other the results are equally disturbing and damaging. Human imagination for cruelty is boundless and any war or disaster brings it on like nothing else can. I am interested in the conflict of conscience during these edgy situations and its consequences.
I like to emphasize the contrast between a first glance appearance of the strangely beautiful image and my fascination with them and the harsh consequences of the disasters depicted in them.
Location: Gallery at Library Square
Contact Information: (801) 524-8200