SouthwestArt
JANUARY 2005

The Architecture of Emotion

CAPTURING UTAH'S
OTHERWORLDLY
GEOGRAPHY
IN STYLISTIC
LANDSCAPE IS

BONNIE POSSELLI'S
FORTE BY TODD
WILKINSON


Old Town Park City, Park City, Oil, 16 X 20

FROM THE SAGEBRUSH CATTLE RANCHES north of the Great Salt Lake into the mystical labyrinth of the Colorado Plateau, talk to any Utahan who knows anything about fine art and when the topic of universally loved, homegrown contemporary painters is raised, Bonnie Posselli ranks near the top of the list.
     Like Utah's famed adopted son Maynard Dixon [1874-1946], who painted from a studio in Mount Carmel, Posselli's stylistic approach to landscape painting places its emphasis not on a purely realistic recapitulation of the geography, but rather on remaining faithful to the chemical effects of light. For Posselli, as with Dixon, total impact is achieved through a flash flood of color.

     Sometime's the West can be almost overwhelming, the hugeness of it all," Posselli points out. "Once you allow it to seep into your soul and spirit, it leaves you changed, When I was younger, it took me a while to get a feel for its intimacy."
     Born in Salt Lake City in 1942, Posselli is the daughter of a laborer father who worked at the massive Kennecott Copper refinery and a mother who stayed at home to raise Posselli and here five siblings in a conservative, middle-class, Mormon atmosphere. Perhaps serving as a prelude to Posselli's uncommon ability to see and interpret, she tells how her father "would bring home splats of copper and ask us to find images in its beautiful gnarliness, or delight us with peacock feathers." In her family, natural curiosity represented a road map to buried treasure.

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