3-D construction, alabaster, ancient, ancient artifacts, androgynous gourd shells, bark, branches, ceremonial construcitons, clay, contemporary vision, Dana Brotman, discovery, equality, expressive, eyes, fetish-like figures, figurative, found objects, glazes, hieroglyphics, Hosho paper, images inside images, janathel shaw, Janet Wheeler, justice, layered meaning, life-size figures, metal, metaphor, Michele Frazier, nature, oil paints, physicality, primeval mother tongue, psychology, raffia, raw, Rosemary Luckett, seed pods, soapstone, social themes, spiritual outlook, spirituality, storytelling, textures, totems, Touchstone Gallery DC, vocabulary of forms, wood
Touchstone sculptors Wheeler, Shaw, Luckett, Frazier and Brotman transform earthen materials and detritus into elegant sculptural forms using fire, colorants, adhesives, carving tools and imaginations keyed into limitless possibilities of three dimensional construction. They share a love of materials, storytelling, and an internal inclination to build–to transform one form into another form.
Michelle Frazier’s figurative sculptures are created in a dialogue with sources as diverse as mythology, social commentary and a contemporary eye for life. Clay figures begin with armatures covered with fiber materials such as wool, crochet yarn and jute, wood chips, soil, and sand. Soapstone and alabaster fetish-like figures recall ancient artifacts, but express contemporary vision. She considers the process of discovery within to be that which gives her work life.
Dana Brotman turns her attention from faces painted in a pallet of flat oranges, greens and reds bordered by heavy black line into three dimensions, incorporating dried gourds into her work. These gourds are, for Brotman, found objects, Seussian and androgynous shells, hollowed carcasses, upon which she seems to have transcribed some primeval mother tongue, some type of hieroglyphics that, like the eyes of the women she paints, are both foreign and known, distant and intensely intimate.
Janet Wheeler’s affinity for natural forms reveal a sensitivity and deep respect for humble materials: delicate seed pods, branches whose strength belies their slight form, feathers bamboo, red osier sticks, iridescent oil sticks on Hosho paper, bark, and raffia. She shapes forms into large ceremonial constructions, boxes, nests, vessels, totems and masks, focusing on color, composition and balance. Each composition exudes a sense of the sacred found in Nature, at once ancient and yet contemporary.
Janathel Shaw’s ceramic figurative sculptures center on universal and social themes and provocative historical scenarios regarding the human condition. Her latest clay figures are autobiographical, sometimes raw, expressive, and layered in meaning. Revealing her spiritual outlook, Jan draws from her experience as self reliant woman, parent and educator. In the studio Janathel marries clay, glazes and oil paints. Emphasis is placed on form, surface and color.
Rosemary Luckett transforms found objects into sculptures and collage. Rather than chipping away at wood or stone, she melds together used wood, metal, paper, fiber and other recycled elements, mixing different media most of the time. Her life-size figures are characterized by images inside images. Each finished piece tells at least one story through its vocabulary of forms and textures. Metaphor, psychology, spirituality, physicality, and the relationship of these spheres to each other and to issues of equality and justice are at the theoretical center of her figurative work.
Enjoy these and other sculptures by Janet Wheeler, Janathel Shaw, Rosemary Luckett, Michelle Frazier Dana Brotman in the Form Transformed: 5 sculptors exhibit in Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave, Washington DC, 20001. 202-347-2787; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.touchstonegallery.com.
show duration: january 3-february 2, 2014
reception: fri. jan. 3, 6-8:30 pm
encore party with sculpture roundtable: thurs. jan. 23, 6-8:30 pm