The summer show at Phillips Gallery, through Sept. 12, has something for everyone - and I do mean everyone. There's pottery, sculpture, photography, drawings, prints and paintings of landscapes, still-lifes, figuration by way of neo-Dadaism, assemblage, minimalism, non-objective abstraction, surrealism, abstract expressionism, post-modernism, impressionism and realism.
Unquestionably every work of art in the show demonstrates competence, integrity and vision. But this is to be expected, especially from a gallery with Phillips' reputation. Fortunately, there are many pieces that go beyond expectations and this is primarily due to Meri Ploetz, gallery director, and her assistants. Their selection of works to be exhibited is to be commended.Group shows often feel claustrophobic; the gallery walls are strewn with art that must battle for a commanding position because the director wants to get as much on display as possible. To Ploetz's credit, the summer show is not only visually tasteful but also properly hung, allowing each work of art to speak without being interrupted by the next piece. And while all this praise reeks of hyperbole, it isn't. The show is a success.
Some of the artists participating in the show are: Allen Bishop, James Charles, Carolyn Coalson, Lee Deffebach, Ruth Gier, Neil Hadlock, Earl Jones, Robert Kleinschmidt, Frank Anthony Smith, Cordell Taylor, Maureen O'Hara Ure, Kent Wing and Francis Zimbeaux. These and many others make for a wonderful viewing experience.
For collectors of Utah art, this exhibit is important. For those beginning to collect Utah art, the exhibit should be mandatory. And for those who simply admire fine art, the exhibit is a joy.