Das Stachliges Dickicht (The Thorny Thicket)
Froelick Gallery- April 2012
Though continuously inspired by several great printmakers and artists of the last several centuries, this body of work draws closely on my roots. My title is an homage to Albrecht Durer’s watercolor Das große Rasenstück (Great Piece of Turf). Created in 1503 in his Nuremburg workshop, it is a beautifully painted, naturalistic study of a chaotic piece of grasses and weeds that conveys a deeper sentiment of the sacred that appears in his greater works. Leonard Baskin’s bronze relief In Memory of Louis Black from 1959 of grasses and flowers shows Durer’s lineage.
The Thorny Thicket is the inescapable tangle of vines that is the chaos in our lives, the physical or emotional barriers between us and our goals, or the painful jabbing that catches us as we try to move forward. It becomes the perfect metaphor for the human condition- struggle, violence, entrapment, but sometimes freedom and release. The irony of this prickly barrier is that it is not an impenetrable wall, but a permeable, deceivingly-harmless fence.
Through these drawings and prints, I explore formal relationships of line, balance and composition as a medium with which to distill and document human relationships and emotions of harmony and conflict. I manipulate the image to find an essential balance or asymmetry within the evolving composition. While working, I draw plants from life in an attempt to impart a sense of gesture and emotion. Complex organic forms act as vehicles for exploring my formal interests.