Modern West Fine Art, located in central Salt Lake City, is delighted to announce the opening of our June show “Sublimity and Spectacle” featuring local artist Lenka Konopasek. Konopasek’s – originally from the Czech Republic -- Received her BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah and her MFA from Maine College of Art in Portland. Her work has been featured in many illustrious art publications including New American Painting in 2005 and 2011, Utah Painting and sculpture in 2011 as well as many others. Konopasek currently teaches as an adjunct professor at both the University of Utah and Westminster College. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the following fine art museums: Narodni Technicke Muzeum, Prague, National Art Gallery, Prague, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah and the Fairfield Museum of Art in Fairfield, Utah.
Konopasek’s Rodeo Picture Show Series studies the spectacle of the western tradition through a contemporary “outsiders” perspective. The rodeo, a completely foreign practice for the artist, provides a visual platform from which she extracts themes concerning cliché Americana, mythological practices of the western United states as well as a bizarre displays of heroism. Documentation of these quintessentially western performances results in the fascinating moment when the artist endeavors to capture the ephemerality of the swift, jarring and violent motions of the rag-doll riders atop the tenacious creatures. Rapidity frozen in time results in dynamic canvases in which the convulsive moments are static and blurred. Shapes dissolve and flatten as movement is translated through oil paint and canvas.
In a similar vein Konopasek’s most recent paintings, Disaster Series explore themes of the sublime force of nature over landscape and human interventions. The overwhelming power of natural disasters- a trope becoming ever more ubiquitous and pertinent within the public sphere- are realized in the Disaster Series. Her documentation of opposing forces crashing into landscapes and man made structures, induce a sense of awe. A sense of temporality is also evoked as the disastrous event is captured in a still moment in time. Forms fuse and collide together as unexpected objects make contact. Fumes, fire, and ocean spray are made manifest in hazy vibrating canvases.