Tom Judd & Kiki Gaffney
The Utah landscape takes center stage during the exhibition Point of View at Modern West Fine Art in Salt Lake City. On display will be the works of husband-andwife artists Tom Judd and Kiki Gaffney, whose dynamic pieces highlight their individual interpretations of the land.
Liberty Blake, curator of the show, says, “Judd originally from Utah, now residing in Philadelphia, returns to the places he once knew. Through his work he explores visual memories, creating nostalgic paintings that evoke the experience of a past reality. Collaged and layered, they call to mind a carefully made scrapbook, both tender and personal. Gaffney grew up in Pennsylvania and experiences Utah as a visitor. She approaches her work with a careful attention to detail examining the environment, often seeing things for the first time. Her work shows a new and unfamiliar landscape in sharp focus, much like a visual journey that captures the specifics and adventure of a nice piece.”
For nearly the past 10 years during the late summer, Judd, Gaffney and their 11-year-old daughter, Astrid, have visited Utah as a family. They arrive in Salt Lake City, flying overtop the Wasatch Mountains and landing near the Salt Lake before packing up a rental car and heading to Castle Valley, which is near Moab.
“As artists, Kiki and I are always talking about it. The landscape. We take photographs and hike and walk and drive. It is a vast and haunted place,” says Judd. “We return to Philadelphia with our minds full of imagery and ideas that get interpreted through the filter of our artistic visions. We work in the same studio so we can see what we are both doing on a day-to-day basis. What’s really so interesting is how our visions are so different. Kiki delves into it with an eye for the detail, the gestures defined in tiny lines. Methodical, even meditative in their process. I am almost the opposite in my approach; sweeping, quick, on the verge of falling apart at times. Together we present these different inquiries. What they have in common is the profound sense of scale and the primitive nature of their existence, and perhaps our existence...”
Among Judd’s paintings is San Juan’s, which was derived from a photograph he took of the view of the San Juan Mountains from the house they stay in while in Castle Valley. “I loved it for both the lighting, where the whole mountain is in shadow, and of course the view is so dramatic,” he says. “The view reminds me of growing up on the foothills of Mt. Olympus in Salt Lake City; it looks and feels a lot like the backyard of our house back then.”
Having only focused on landscape in her art for a few years, Gaffney has always found herself interested in natural and organic forms and how they become objects used for information or direction. A trip to Utah began the transition to
the subject matter, as she thought about “juxtaposing the physical landscape with patterned imagery.”
Fallen Aspens #3 is a close-up of the trees as they lie on the ground amongst billowing green leaves. She says, “The imagery itself is about bringing attention to the subtle beauty of how these natural structures transform and eventually decompose. I wanted to make the focal point the natural occurrences that may generally go unnoticed and highlight the beauty in the organic lines and shapes that results. Again, it is along the idea of bringing reverence to something that may not normally receive attention.”
Point of View opens November 16 and will hang through January 12, 2019.
Kiki Gaffney, The Valley, oil, graphite and gold leaf on wood panel, 25 x 25”
Tom Judd, En Casa, oil on panel, 24 x 40”
Kiki Gaffney, Fallen Aspens #3, oil and graphite on wood panel, 18 x 18”