Contemporary Art Matters is pleased to present Sculpture I, a group exhibition featuring Bianca Beck, Gerhard Demetz, Curtis Fairman, Brendan Fernandes, Pamela Fraser, Jonathan Hammer, Allison Janae Hamilton, Kurt Lightner, Bruce Robinson and Almond Zigmund, open February 18th – April 15, 2021. ‘A Closer Look’ will be held on Thursday, February 18th from 12 -7 pm. This will be a free, ticketed event with social distancing and public health protocols.
We’ve spent the last year collecting works by ten international contemporary sculptors who work in different traditions using a myriad of materials including wood, ceramic, assemblage, papier-mâché and found plastics. Sculpture I allows us to look at sculpture in a broad sense, examining idea threads of what you see in contemporary art today.
Gerhard Demetz brings his Italian town’s century old wood carving traditions into his practice. 21 Grams shows his precise craftsmanship and thoughtful cross-cultural mingling of complex philosophical exploration. The traditional wood carvings of Gerhard Demetz, an artist who hails from an old-world European city with hundreds of years of wood carving tradition radiates precise craftsmanship. Chicago’s Brendan Fernandes draws on his experience as a dancer to address contemporary issues in his art. These elegant wooden blade-like pieces function on several levels, as sculptures, chairs and props for a dance performance. They were made during a residency at the Noguchi Museum, crossing fine art and high design. Also working in wood, New York based Kurt Lightner contemplates the plight of American farming with hand carved stalks of wheat.
Bianca Beck uses papier-mâché to sculpt her abstract organic forms. Similar to Fernandez, Beck mines her years of dance to explore ideas of gestures and bodies moving in space. The resulting sculptures have their own identities awash in bright color. Almond Zigmund takes a modernist approach to classic sculptural forms, creating bold geometric shapes that outline traditional poses. Pamela Fraser takes an intellectual approach to color and form. Her small-scale ceramic works explore kiln-fired traditions and glazing techniques to achieve the bright colors and patterns. Curtis Fairman’s works in a Modernist vocabulary with his playful assemblages using store bought plastics.
Allison Janae Hamilton is represented with her Rooster Wire Mask, an assemblage of an antique fencing mask with feathers, reflects on American history and reinterpreting these found materials into a new armor for her created mythologies. Bruce Robinson’s mobile assemblages show us the true beauty and wonder of found materials, they move, make sound and are completely interactive. Jonathan Hammer assembles his own hand-made ceramic pieces to create abstract organic forms that look like treasures from the sea.