3.24.2010

Three Sculptors

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Nancy Azara: Detail of Broken Red leaves, shown in full below
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In this post you see the work of three sculptors, each working in wood and each with a solo show up now: Nancy Azara, Donna Dodson and Ursula Von Ridingsvard. Formally and esthetically the three approach their material differently, but there’s a sensense of humanity, if not spirituality, present in each artist's work.

Nancy Azara’s show, Dawn/Light: Sculpture and Collages, is at Andre Zarre Gallery on 20th Street in Chelsea until the 27th (don’t miss it). Her handcarved works, suggesting totems or altars, give form to a spiritual sensibility. Lilly Wei writes in the catalog accompanying the exhibition: “A feminist and spiritualist whose production is a testament to memories and desires, to landscapes of the mind and soul with reference to nature and the architectural, Azara seems to transfer her own passionate convictions, her own breath of life into her constructs.” You do not walk away from this work without carrying an intangible part of it with you.

Broken Red Leaves, installed at Andre Zarre Gallery
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Altar for Nunzia: 1913-2004
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Azara with Dawn/Light
All the sculptures are carved, painted and gilded with various metal leafs
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Donna Dodson’s stylized and abstracted elephants are anthropomorphized into archetypes of the feminine: girl, woman, goddess or queen. “My artwork celebrates the mystical relationship between human beings and the animal kingdom," says Dodson. "The challenge is to fuse feminine sensuality, sexuality and soul with a well-proportioned figurative vocabulary." Her solo, Elephant Tribe took place at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, in Boston, in November, but if you’re in New England, you can see a new show at the Galletly Gallery in New Hampton, New Hampshire, which opens April 1 and runs for the month..






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Donna Dodson:
Elephant Bride, left, and White Elephant, two sculptures from the installation at the Boston Sculptor's Gallery, Boston, in November shown below
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Ursula Von Rydingsvard: Blackened Word, cedar and graphite, installed at Galerie Lelong on 26th Street
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Ursula Von Rydingsvard's handsome solo, Erratus, is at Galerie Lelong on 26th Street through May 1. Von Rydingsvard’s hewn cedar sculptures are massive and monumental. They are constructed from smaller elements that have been built into unfurling and undulating forms—and then, if I see correctly from her website—are cut up before being reconstructed. The work is too constrained in a gallery setting; it needs to be outdoors, where it has a more elemental relationship with its surroundings. Rydingsvard the organic Serra. Wait. Let me restate that: He’s the ferric Von Rydingsvard.
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Above and below: Details of Blackened Word
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Droga, cedar and graphite
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10 comments:

Tamar said...

I find Von Rydingsvard's work quite powerful, and I agree with you that it is best viewed outdoors. There are several pieces by von Rydingsvard at Storm King Art Center (across the Hudson from Beacon, NY), in a truly majestic setting. For anyone interested in how she constructs these monumental pieces, here is a link to a slideshow.
http://www.pbs.org/art21/slideshow/?show=204

Donna Dodson said...

Wow- I am honored to be mentioned on your blog and in such great company. Thanks, Joanne. I saw Ursula's show in person and look forward to seeing Nancy's work.

EAGEAGEAG said...

Good stuff.

Carla Hernandez said...

I want to shrink to a miniature size to climb and crawl inside Von Rydingsvard's sculptures. Beautiful!

Nancy Martini said...

Beautiful! I have been a fan of Ursula Von Rydingsvard's work and would love to see it in person.

kim matthews said...

Thanks for covering sculpture! I love UVR-wish I could see the show.

Ingrid Ellison said...

Stunning! I can remember the first time I saw Von Rydingsvard's work in person. The smell of the cedar was intoxicating! I also remember a beautiful collaborative piece done by her and Judy Pfaff in the early 90's - an exquisite combination of raw wood and blown glass. Thank you for the post and the introduction to Azara and Dodson!

Linda said...

There is an Ursula von Rydingsvard sculpture at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. A huge piece, I was just there looking at it a few weeks ago. Info on the sculpture is here: http://decordova.com/decordova/sculp_park/rydingsvard.htm

Sophie Munns said...

Particularly love the Azara work Dawn/Light!
great post all up - delightful!

Denny Reed said...

I just discovered your blog. I love it!!!!!