Robert Ortbal, Benign: Growth and Neglect
The Wiegand Gallery is proud to present the works of the highly regarded Bay Area sculptor and installation artist, Robert Ortbal. The opening reception will be held on Sunday, February 8th from 2-4pm. There will be a fundraiser to benefit the Wiegand Gallery on Saturday, February 21st from 4-7pm. This event will include a lecture by the artist and a wine and food pairing by Wine Director Kevin Forsaith of Draeger’s. Tickets are available for $ 35 per person; to order tickets, please call the gallery office at 650 508 3595.
Robert Ortbal’s work is akin to forms found in the plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms. Ortbal calls these “hybrids”. His work transforms the exhibition space from something expected into something unexpected. As Robert states, “I make objects and create installations to explore the distinct and interrelated worlds of natural phenomena and human nature. The process of regeneration is a theme I continually return to as I search for the hidden growth, within real and imagined spaces, to evoke a connection to a larger system”.
Ortbal uses everyday mundane materials like chicken wire, resin, paint, plastic golf balls, packing foam, wire and Styrofoam, and converts them into forms reminiscent of tangled webs of the human nervous systems or stellar constellations.
Robert currently lives and works in Emeryville, CA, and is a Professor of Art at California State University at Sacramento. He received his MFA from the University of California, Davis where he worked with Robert Anderson and Manuel Neri. He is the recipient of a Eureka Fellowship from Fleishhacker Foundation, the largest cash prize for an individual artist in the Bay Area.