Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Whimsical Spherical

Repost from my article at ModernDallas.net

I am currently studying sculpture materials for some possibilities in my own work, but also to see and appreciate what is out there. I recently finished jointly judging the Art on Henderson exhibition which got me hungry to see more sculpture. Lucky, Cohn Drennan Contemporary was hosting the 30th celebration of the Texas Sculpture Association. This made for the perfect place and moment to experience a great deal more sculpture located in one place.

I visited opening night and the show was so packed that I couldn’t see much, but I had fun catching up with several artist friends. Plus I made notes about which works I might want to revisit. On my second visit, Art Fairchild’s hand powered spinning sculpture captivated my attention. “Whimsical Spherical” looks like cut pipes rounded off and systematically stacked together on a stand. The rusted metal form was attractive, but when I observed the work spinning and making a faint noise, I was charmed by the piece. Leave it to bells and whistles to make me fall for an art work. This work by Fairchild reminded me of Art on Henderson finalist, sculptor Scott Shubin. His use of simple beams welded together had a similar impact to Fairchild’s sphere.

Robertus Joost van der Wege’s sculpture, “Five Girls Playing” used bike parts to make the cycle more in a circle. It would seem Wege is showing an exercise in futility and the light pink shade of the frame added an air of frivolousness. The work was well crafted like a Eugène Ionesco play, which further illustrated the absurdity Wege was trying to achieve.

The black metal sculpture titled Round Screen, by David Duncan had a similar composition and look to Beverly Penn’s delicate work. Duncan has gone with a sturdier thickness that makes me believe you could even hang his work outside. There is something about the organic shapes and subtle variations in the symmetry that keeps your eyes moving around the piece.

There were around 30 artists in the show and styles were pretty broad, but most harkened back to developments made in early to mid-20th century Modernism. Stan Smith’s “Dissected,” looked similar to Russian Constructivist works. Brandon Jarrett made a piece in the same vein as the 1961 David Smith’ s “Voltri VI” owned by Nasher Sculpture Garden. This is not a criticism of the works in the show, just an observation that many were drawing insight from this rich deep well of the past and coming up with their own iterations.

When visiting Cohn Drennan Contemporary, take a look around their office. Along with the friendly dog, they have a great mini show of their stable artists. They recently switched out some of their small works for more expansive paintings. The TSA show will be up until May 11th.

ModernDallas.net for more pictures.

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