Sonoma, CA – A New Leaf Gallery | Sculpturesite at Cornerstone Sonoma is pleased to announce the exhibition IN BRONZE, on view from January 12 to March 30, 2014. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Sunday, January 12 from 2-4pm.
In this exhibition of bronzes by three internationally recognized sculptors, we explore three very distinctive approaches for creating striking abstract forms of enduring grace.
Clement Meadmore (1929-2005) created his diminutive models in resin, which he would meditatively cut and assemble in endless configurations, to be expertly fabricated by a foundry into bronze (or aluminum for his monumental works) at the scale that he felt would work best.
Richard Erdman (b. 1952) most often begins with carving an impossibly delicate and elegant stone sculpture at one of his studios in Vermont or Carrara, Italy. His most successful works are turned into a cast bronze edition. He is known for exploring a particularly eloquent form at various scales, in both bronze and stone.
Hans Van de Bovenkamp (b. 1938) creates one-of-a-kind sculptures from sheet metal, coaxing the rigid material into carefully composed organic forms that meld his background in architecture and his life-long interest in the spiritual, sacred sites of the world.
Australian born Clement Meadmore moved to New York in 1963, attracted to a city where the new world of modern sculpture was exploding. Meadmore was at times described as a minimalist, but he resisted that identification. By the late sixties, his process was one of laborious research, combining two basic geometric shapes into endless possibilities and then deciding when he had accomplished that transcendence of geometry that he pursued: the fluid form of seemingly effortless grace that his sculptures all exhibit, from his maquettes just a few inches tall to his imposing monumental works.
This exhibition features six of Meadmore’s “maquette sized” works, spanning five decades of his career.
“Wave,” 1968, one of the earliest bronzes, is pure fluidity at only 5” x 11” x 5”, while “Outspread,” 1991, is more playful – an almost figurative, expansive form with great poise. One of Meadmore’s last works, “Us,” 2002, in his signature gray patina, reaches out in two directions. Three larger “indoor sized” works are also on display: “Tantamount,” 2004, packs a powerful impact at 25” x 35” x 22”; “Frolic,” 1997, 17” x 24” x 20”, is all curves; and “Lowdown,” 1983, defies gravity. Two of Meadmore’s outdoor sculptures in painted aluminum are also on view during this exhibition.
Although Meadmore’s accomplishments as a sculptor are often touted as far-reaching and crucially influential for an entire generation of sculptors, and his sculptures have brought in significant prices on the secondary market both in Australia and in the US, his works are still extremely collectable as they continue to be sold in galleries worldwide at prices set by the Estate.
Richard Erdman was born and raised in Vermont with forests, mountains and stone quarries as his playground. He became an avid skier (twice an All-American Champion while studying at the University of Vermont) and the experience of exhilarating risk-taking that so attracted him to slalom skiing still informs his sensuous, fluid works. After graduating, he apprenticed with master carvers in Carrara, Italy, where he established a studio and embarked on a lifelong conversation with marble and other stone material. He realized early in his career the limits of production for an artist dedicated to stone carving, and so began to create bronze editions. He also maintains a studio in Vermont.
Erdman’s works can be found in museum, private and public collections in more than 40 countries, and have been included in over 150 solo and group exhibitions. This group of eight bronze sculptures includes “Global,” 30” x 20” x 18”, “Calypso” and “Confluence,” all three perfect illustrations of what art critic Peter Frank describes as Erdman’s focus on the “positive-negative interplay, an innovation attributed to (Henry) Moore, a defining characteristic of Erdman’s sculpture… That ‘positive embracing negative’ formula also echoes Isamu Noguchi’s approach to marble carving.” The work “Situ” may be most closely related to the more abstracted of Moore’s reclining figures, while “Vela,” the smallest of the group, is rather complex for its diminutive 7” height, and quite a brilliant shadow caster! Originally created as a maquette for a monumental piece, “Consuela” is composed of two elements that appear to be dancing on a circular base, with a lovely patina blending from a rich brown to an elegantly mottled green.
Hans Van de Bovenkamp emigrated from Holland with his family in 1957. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science and Design, and moved to New York City in 1961 to pursue his dream of “becoming an artist”. In the next few years, Van de Bovenkamp earned several awards for his sculptures, including the Emily Lowe award, was featured in newspaper articles and television programs, and was commissioned, with his brother Geritt, to create several major public commissions.
In the seventies, Van de Bovenkamp made a series of trips to North Africa, Latin America and Asia, where he found inspiration in spiritual and sacred places, from Hindu and Nepalese temples to Mayan pyramids. “My journeys into Hindu cultures, where sculpture and mythology are wed, influenced me greatly and were the beginning of my incorporating mythological themes in my work.” In 2001, Van de Bovenkamp began the Menhirs series, which elicited the following comments by art critic Donald Kuspit, “All of Van de Bovenkamp’s sculptures are modernist in their use of the fragment, but each fragment has a life of its own, subliminally attuned to the life of every other fragment.” Later in the essay he wrote for the monograph published in 2004, Kuspit states, “It is as though each of Van de Bovenkamp’s sculptures embodies what Abraham Maslow calls ‘peak experience,’ more particularly a peak experience of creativity itself.”
The six bronze works included in the exhibition include “Herma,” a tree-like composition in a delicate patina, very free and more buoyant that most of the artist’s works in the series; “Who Are You to Tell?”, a bulkier work in a rich, almost black patina that surprises the viewer as its elements seem to fly away from certain angles; “Curly,” a playful sculpture where solid shapes are juxtaposed with open forms and sinuous curlicues; and “Lady Godiva,” one of Van de Bovenkamp’s most figurative works in a rich, dark brown patina.