Modern West – Constructed

For its inaugural exhibition, OCA has invited Modern West of Salt Lake City to guest curate a show in an effort to link Northern Utah’s art communities, while continuing its mission to elevate the efforts of artists and arts professionals in the wider Wasatch region. Constructed, on display through January 31st, features the process-based work of Andrew Alba, Levi Jackson and Shalee Cooper, while celebrating the newly built art space that has long been anticipated by Ogden’s art community.

While the presented artists range widely in aesthetic and medium, the connective thread that runs through each collection is the artist’s utilization of material and interdisciplinary approach to art making. Each exhibited work – while two-dimensional in form – is produced from deeply perceptual and physical examinations of material, space, and time.

Andrew Alba is a self-taught artist whose mixed media paintings and sculpture provide relevant commentary on socio-political issues. His current body of work explores the history of oppression in our country and its impact on contemporary America. “Many of the works on canvas are done on repurposed drop cloth from job sites that I have worked on. The sculptures are made with reclaimed lumber and drywall plaster taken from work as well. From this practice, I am able to reference the continual and unacknowledged back-breaking labor experienced by millions.”

Levi Jackson physically alters the natural landscape to create mythical scenes in his black and white photographs. Using the American West as a symbolic backdrop, his work challenges common historical perceptions by pairing it with contemporary understanding. “My work is closely tied to physically being in the landscape, while simultaneously existing for the aftereffect. I make and think for the photograph. Constructing the sets, photographing, dismantling and revealing all become analogous to creating a reality.”

Shalee Cooper’s work is an exploration of form and balance. While her process incorporates multiple mediums, her take on Constructed is more conceptual in nature as she builds her compositions through the use of positive and negative space, leaving out as much as she adds to explore the juxtaposition between intention and possibility. “I am drawn to the tension that exists in the in-between. What is not there within my compositions holds the same importance as what is. I am interested in using the least amount of materials possible working with less to say more.”

November 6, 2020 – January 31st, 2021