Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection

Where: Renwick Gallery

When: until January 30, 2011

I went to see this exhibit along with the "Art of Gaman" show, as they're both at the Renwick. The shows are small enough that they can be viewed in one lunch time, provided you move pretty quickly through them both. If you want to linger, see them one at a time. I would recommend seeing this show on a Tuesday, if you can, as they have a lathe demonstration going on from 12-1 through December. If you happen to be in town on a weekend, they have another demo going on the second Saturday of the month, from 2-4.

These objects are beautiful, especially if you like woodwork. All were made by turning the wood on a lathe. This brought back memories for me of my grandfather, father and uncle talking about their woodworking when I was a child. I didn't know what a lathe was, but I gathered it was important as it seemed to feature in so many of their conversations.

This exhibit includes not only functional pieces (bowls, vases) but also art objects. Bud Latven's piece, Integration, is made of maple and African blackwood. You don't really expect wood to make a statement, but this piece does.

Daniel Ellsworth's Solstice Series is a set of painted wood pieces - a sort of "Dylan Goes Electric" moment that is not without its controversy.

Finally, Edward Moulthrop's Donut Bowl I liked very much. There was something about the rounded shape that really appealed to me. He had several other similarly shaped pieces I liked as well.

Verdict: This show features many stunning wooden pieces. If you like wood as art, don't miss this exhibit.

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