Anna Betbeze, this years’ winner of the 2017 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, will be featured at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) from September 22, 2017 through January 14, 2018. Her solo exhibition entitled Dark Sun showcases her breathtaking work combining fire, water, acids and colorful industrial-strength dyes to create large-scale abstract paintings on wool rugs. Betbeze describes this layered and primitive experience as “when seeing becomes breathing, stroking, tasting and sound – often simultaneously.”
Her artwork explores the dichotomies of abjection/beauty, abandonment/care and destruction/creation. She collaborates with nature in order to create the feeling that each painting was found in its decayed state, rather than made, allowing them to fluctuate anachronistically between historical and contemporary.
“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.”
Dark Sun opens at UMOCA on September 22, 2017 with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m., and will run through January 14 in UMOCA’s Street Gallery. Read more about Anna and her collection here.