Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sculpture: A Note

(FOR SOME REASON BEST KNOWN TO BLOGGER, THIS DID NOT GET POSTED SUNDAY, AS IT WAS SUPPOSED TO. WELL, BETTER LATE... HERE GOES)

My friend Peter Shelton sent me word about this new installation, thinmanlittlebird, at the Central Library in Indianapolis.


I love the way the piece interacts with gentle humor with its neoclassical setting, its play with massive weight and soaring weightlessness, its juxtaposition of the human with the natural world (the "littlebird", perched on the oddly slanting doughnut shape on the right side,) and its almost painful elongation of the figure contrasted with the satisfying, slightly comical belly-roundness of the doughnut. Peter's habit of titling his works with elided, non-capitalized words conveys at once a modesty of intention with a sense of the equivalence of all things, human and natural, organic and inorganic, in the great scale of universal one-ness.

As I have noted elsewhere, in writing about Peter's work, his distortion of the human body into absurdly exaggerated forms suggests some of the psychic angst shared by the majority of we mortals about our very fragile bodies and our relationship to the world around us. As one who has struggled with body-consciousness for most of my years on this planet Earth, I have always found the work profoundly moving. It resonates in difficult and often unexplored places in the psyche, and asks me to think further about what it means to be a human being. What more can you ask from a work of art?

2 comments:

Gary said...

I had the pleasure to work with Peter at UCLA in the
80's.

I always felt he painted with steel and his elastic concern with human architectural scale and questions of mass, weight, inside, outside and light
makes him our best poetic sculptor.

buddha pendant said...

Peter is a good man.