I first saw Rebecca Campbell‘s work when I was visiting my son in Los Angeles. We had gone out to Venice to LA Louver Gallery which represents several of my favorite artists—Terry Allen, David Hockney, Ken Price, Gajin Fujita—and when the person at the desk found out I was from Utah, she jumped up to show me Rebecca Campbell’s work. I fell in love immediately, mainly because of Campbell’s obvious love of paint. Her exuberant brushstrokes make you feel like she’s enjoying the physical process of painting, the gooshy swish of a paint-loaded brush on canvas. Even when the subjects are not lighthearted, the action of painting is.
Campbell grew up in Salt Lake City with deep LDS roots, revering the land and those who worked it, and living in the suburbs.. She lives in L.A. now, but her paintings still deal with Mormon-haunted memory and family and the complicated ways we find to deal with our personal history.
She’ll return to Salt Lake City this week, Thursday, September 29, and I suggest you go over to Ken Sanders at 7:00 and meet her in person. She’ll be signing her new book release, The Potato Eaters, and celebrating her show of the same name at BYU, opening September 30.
Go see that, too. Yes, this is the same name as Vincent Van Gogh’s famous and favorite work:
and Campbell’s series of paintings aims to show the connection between place and people and, perhaps, how the connection is strained and broken.