Abstract paintings can evoke a wide array of emotions, and Hardesty seems unafraid to go wherever a particular painting might be taking him, even applying the paint with unconventional means, such as with a palette knife or metal coils. The 10-by-10-inch format of the collection explores the power of experimentation within the strictures of that dimension. He has recently done some paintings in front of a live audience, which exercised his dramatic flair and demonstrated his artistic process that often involves going through several permutations before he deems a work “finished.” His best works have a sense of drama and freedom, as well as compositional exploration, with the improvisatory feeling of jazz music.
Hardesty says he feels cheated when artists label their paintings “Untitled,” but his own titles don’t over-determine the viewer’s response, or tell them what to think or how to feel about the works—like “Wrapped” (pictured), which is made with cement, wire mesh, twine, acrylic and canvas strips that add to the mystery. Unwrapping the potential meanings is like peeling away the layers of an onion, leading to many different ways they resonate. (Brian Staker)
Jerry Hardesty: Resonance @ House Gallery, 29 E. 400 South, 801-322-1027, through Apr 27, free; artist reception, April 20, 6-9 p.m. HouseGallerySLC.com
Date: Apr 24, 2012
Address: 29 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: House Gallery