Magnetic North
The Landscapes Of Tom Uttech
by Margaret Andera with Lucy R. Lippard 
 
One of the most widely admired landscape painters in America, Tom Uttech merges nineteenth-century notions of the ideal landscape with aspects of surrealism and photo-realism to create his unique vision of the North Woods. The artist reestablishes the wilderness as a mystical and magical place where the animal kingdom reigns, the colors of nature flourish, and the forces of the wild are played out. Uttech is inspired by his treks through Wisconsin prairies and woodlands and his camping and canoeing trips to northern Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

Uttech's paintings are distinguished from those of most contemporary landscape artists in that he does no drawings, studies, or photographs while on these excursions. His paintings are studio inventions based entirely on memory and improvisation. Uttech's landscapes have been described as "pure fantasy and, at the same time, absolutely true to nature." His use of high-key colors and his depictions of seemingly airless environments give his work a surreal quality. The intricate detail achieved through the artist's precise painterly touch gives the surfaces of his work a high degree of patterning and articulation. More recently, Uttech has begun to add painted or carved elements to his handmade frames, which are integral components of his work. In addition to paintings, the retrospective also features a selection of the artist's prints and photographs.


Magnetic North
The Landscapes Of Tom Uttech
by Margaret Andera with Lucy R. Lippard 
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
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