KAC Membersâ€™ Pin Up Show
Badami Gallery, Group Exhibition
Kimball Art Center, Park City, Utah
October 1, 2011 - November 13, 2011
Anderson-Foothill Branch, Salt Lake City Public Library
August 20, 2011 - October 1, 2011
Savor....Expire - Installation
Participant in "Lawn Gnomes Eat Your Hearts Out"
Hosted by the 337 Project and Salt Lake Art Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
May 13, 2011 - June 17, 2011
Participant in RAW/WAR
RAW/WAR is an interactive, community-curated media archive that provides a forum in which users can come together, share their art and share their stories to collaboratively contribute to the history of women's art. The work will remain permanently archived on the website rawwar.org and it will also be physically revealed using beams of light during an interactive installation that runs through March 25, 2011 at the Salt Lake Art Center. The RAW/WAR project is created by Lynn Hershman Leeson in collaboration with Alexandra Chowaniec, Brian Chirls, Gian Pablo Villamil and Paradiso Projects.
Landscapes on Display
171 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
January 8, 2011 - January 31, 2011
Harmonious Opposites - Group Installation
Curated By Felicia Baca
Salt Lake Art Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
December 20, 2010 - January 8, 2011
Introducing Lisa Orr's "Transcendence" paintings (2006-2010)
Lisa Orr is a creative, empathetic, and devoted artist. Several of Orr's work can be seen in her studio and throughout her home in Salt Lake City - besides a painter, she is a mother and a wife. To her, paint is life's blood; a tool to give her inner impressions, feelings, and opinions objective concrete form. Her paintings - as small as 18" x 24" and as large as 48" x 60" - offer a vehicle of self-scrutiny, self-understanding, and self-overcoming. Much like the works of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionists, her paintings seek to represent moods and emotions. Orr converts the metaphysical into colorful, expressionistic, and abstract paintings. In turn this process is transformative for her: what is transcendence if not a model of freedom?
A few of her early paintings in the "Transcendence" series consist of mixed media over dark, thick, earthly colors. They remind us that the roots of art lie in the unconscious, that art is a solitary act. In two paintings from 2008, The Voyage and Self Portrait, the canvas was metamorphosed into a hostile fabric to be gagged, slashed, stitched, and burned. The images constructed, both tactile and visual, are symbolic allegories for suffering and healing. Here catharsis is the motor for transcendence. Orr even evokes a primitive form of ritualistic healing in Rising: dirt and dried branches, all in process of deterioration and decay, are weaved together into an enclosed space surrounded by a smoky atmosphere.
The horizon line, and therefore the ocean, is a recurring motif in Orr's work. It appears between murky waters and an acid-yellow sky in Time. Although mostly consisting of pastels, it is an opaque and troubled landscape; the picture is trapped within the frame by a border of paint; sky and ocean barely reveal small, hand-painted, unintelligible words. It represents a period of stagnation for the artist. The motif reappears a year later in The Mix, this time pointing at the constancy of change, yet it is still grounding, and reassuring.
The fifteen paintings in Orr's "Transcendence" series reveal an artist that is evolving and refining her practice. Orr's original expressive impulses slowly shift away from symbolic, psychic, and controlled, towards looser, abstract, dynamic compositions. Orr's work progresses: the thick pure pigments in Flux slowly begin to dissolve, drip, and open room to breathe. The negative space in Eager offers a sense of renewed clarity, even if under duress, only to be followed by restlessness and dissonance in Navigation. In Harvest and Transcend a new bravura style emerges: restricted color palette, confident vertical and horizontal strokes generate atmospheric depth. Each step of the way Orr's paintings record the most delicate gesture next to the most tense. Then, in 2010, the paintings become a mosaic of color sensations - each brushstroke in Summer, Atmosphere, and The Veil mark the point of a new feeling or a new thought. It is a dance between liquid thoughts and concrete optics. In other words, her paintings move deeper and deeper into the domain of the contemplative and purely visual. The results are frustrating only if you seek literal meaning; otherwise, they are ravishingly beautiful.
Art critic, currently living in New York City