Opening the Chelsea Fall season, Nancy Hoffman Gallery shows sculpture and drawings by sculptors.
Included in the exhibition are works by Nicolas Africano (drawings and glass sculptures), Ilan Averbuch (drawings and stone, wood and steel sculptures), Joan Bankemper (gouaches and ceramic mosaic vessels), Viola Frey (drawings and ceramic sculptures) and Jesse Small (drawings and steel sculptures).
Africano, Averbuch, Bankemper and Frey all approach their works on paper with the same energy and vigor as their sculptures. They consider the works on paper equally important in their oeuvre. In the case of Africano, the subject of his sculpture, the woman—who is at times mythic and lyrical, at others inspired by an art historical reference—stands as a timeless image. Averbuch’s works are often drawn after the creation of his sculptures and related to them. Characteristic of his drawing style is the writing that accompanies each image; sometimes about the image itself, sometimes about the terrain on which the sculpture will be located, and at others about the meaning of the stone, steel and wood piece. Bankemper’s gouaches were created in conjunction with a solo at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Each is filled with some of the imagery she uses on her ceramic vessels, images from the garden: birds, bees and flowers, each a rainbow of color that relates to her vessels. Frey loved the human figure, she was known for her larger than life ceramic sculptures-measuring 10-12 feet in height- depicting everyman in a blue power suit and every woman, either in her pink birthday suit or in a dress based on a dress from the 50’s. Her drawings center around a figure, drawn from a model in her studio. Surrounding the figure are figurines, windows, doorways, urns, a full range of the artist’s vocabulary, utilized in both her sculpture and drawing. Jesse Small’s print is of a drawing he executed by hand to program the cuts and curves for a steel sculpture, a visual map of a lyrical, rhythmic pattern that becomes a sinuous weave in three dimension.
The dialogue between the two dimensional works and the three dimensional works is often missed when looking at only sculptural work by sculptors. This exhibition aims to reveal the fullness of each artist in both drawing and sculpture, and to reveal how the artist’s thinking unfolds in moving from a two dimensional to a three dimensional work.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)