Trans-disciplinary artist Doug Jeck’s large figurative sculptures, which he aptly calls “human objects,” are painstakingly hand built from the ground up, meticulously created and finished with paint and other materials. Drawing from the tradition of the heroic sculpture, the stoic figures are anything but. They are the everyman, battered by life, damaged and yet they still somehow persevere. His works were part of a group show ‘Strength in Fragility’ at Euctectic Gallery (Portland, Oregon, August 5, 2016 – September 24, 2016).
Above image: Doug Jeck exhibition
I’ve looked hard at the history of the human object. I wonder the same thing about it as I do about myself: Is what has been more blessed than what will be? This question is at the core of everything I make and, perhaps, the reason why clay is most appropriate. “Human Object.” I prefer this term to define my work instead of “figurative sculpture.” This is not merely a semantic distinction. “Figurative” implies the removal of that which is directly human into a symbolic representation. “Human Object” not only describes the uncanny presence of the thing I make, but also refers to the focus of its content.
‘Strength in Fragility’ also featured new sculptural work by Lauren Gallaspy and Amanda Salov. Salov says her delicately built and arranged works strive to draw their viewer into an anxious situation.
A tension arises between the fragility of the transitory figure and the passing of the ephemeral material. Often quickly dismissed, tension is not given time of contemplation. We often want the anxious and awkward moment to pass as quickly as possible, but if we stand in these moments that are familiar and new we will grow. Through this attention, given to such moments, we reconsider our perspective. In my work I hold these moments, lingering with tension, seeking contemplation on the human condition. With melancholy and isolated undertones, a realization may occur from my work. Through recognition of our temporal and transitory nature empathy may be gained.
Working primarily in sculptural ceramics, Lauren Gallaspy creates small-scale objects with intricately rendered surfaces that center on the psychological experience of embodiment.
The things that I love and the things that I fear refuse to balance out…My work is about that imbalance: the vulnerability of living things and the sometimes violent, sometimes pleasurable, almost always complex consequences that occur when bodies and objects in the world come into contact with one another. Clay is utilized in this activity as a covert material– a wilderness in which animals of association my hide. A sensitivity to the innate qualities of the ceramic material is vital to what I do. I believe that the way something is said is as important as what is said.
Text (edited) provided by Eutectic Gallery.
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