BARRY GUNDERSON

gunderson@kenyon.edu
105 Bexley Hall
Gambier, OH 43022

 

Dirt Series
UMO Series
A Second Look at Versailles
A Door of One's Own
Public Sculpture

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Artist's Statement

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Artist Statement

Sculptural interpretations of water, contorted figures with peculiar thought bubbles, sculptural architecture based on Northern English row houses, French Gardens, and just “Useless Metal Objects” have kept me busy in the studio. In each series I am trying to capture the essence of these forms, some recognizable, some not, by giving each piece a visual impact, a sense of humor, a spark that sets them apart from their sources.

My last four series:

“Dirt” - Grant Wood was one of my earliest art heroes.  Perhaps I was drawn to him because of my Minnesota upbringing. His depictions of Iowa farms and farmers touched me as only a fellow mid-westerner could. I greatly admired his depictions of rolling lands, lollipop trees, and evidence of hard work.  

This new series explores the abstract patterns of plowing, tilling, seeding, and growing. Amidst these patterns of the land is the architecture of the farm. Red and white patterned barns, silos, and plotted gardens coexist with the cut-up wedges of land. All of these workings of the land have provided me with vast sculptural opportunities. These wall-mounted sculptures have allowed me to explore color, shape, and texture while thinking of the tenuous existence of the small family farm. 

UMO's - my love of compact shape, bold color, and surface patterns have been prominent in the 36 pieces I have completed so far. In each of these welded aluminum forms I am trying to make them anything other than useless. Instead I am combining elements to make each object as dazzling and funky as possible. This series is on-going.

“A Door of One's Own" - This work was inspired by British Architecture and the 15 painted wood pieces in the series are all wall mounted. While living in Liverpool for a year I found the block after block of terrace houses to be fascinating - particularly the visible show of individual ownership for each housing unit. To make these objects more sculptural rather than architectural models they are exhibited on the walls with the roofs thrust out into the space of the gallery. My consistent love of form, color, and texture are again prominent in this series.

"A Second Look at Versailles" - Using historic maps of the gardens of Versailles, these painted wood, wall sculptures capture the rhythm, pattern, and lushness of these famous gardens. With careful inspection of the maps, I found intriguing geometries within the small gardens of the whole. Simulated shadow play became a very influential character in each piece. The 10 pieces in the series allowed me to explore the abundant variety and beauty of green.