Statement of Intent
A statement about the human condition pervades formal investigations in this harassed time when sleep is disturbed and disquieting vibrations whirl around. More fractionalization, isolation, dismemberment and frenetic energy have appeared. These seem to be points on which to focus, because they are real factors in our daily lives and have increased gradually. These factors reflect my lifestyle along with that of many working people. At home base, parts of works are prefabricated and reassembled somewhere else. This schizophrenic lifestyle is tenuous and fraught with obstacles but very satisfying and exciting when successful. The patterns of progress show a likeness to the premises of Chaos. Too great an increase in the load of work or of complexity in the execution of the work results in unmanageable turbulence.
In contrast to these present conditions, Henry Moore's approach to monumental biomorphic forms, fusing abstraction with natural form, was a strong influence in my approach to sculpture in the 1950's. While growing up in England, his calm, large, sensual qualities, like those of Egyptian sculpture, provided a safe, larger than life reality in a stifling atmosphere. His energy radiated from within the forms. Later, German Expressionism became important, showing a release of pent up energy. Direct plaster modeling changed my view about form and gesture though I did not achieve the same freedom in painting. In 1959, a show of paintings in London by American artist, including De Kooning, Rothko and San Francis, demonstrated that paint as a subject could say many things. This experience not only expanded my vision but filled me with a desire to sample the seemingly unlimited freedom and energy in the United States. I achieved this goal, but family obligations prevented further contact with the Arts for twenty years.
I resumed making sculpture in 1982 in a class at U.C.L.A. Alan Ruppersberg opened new avenues of thinking for me about three-dimensional art. He put into perspective the developments out of which the conceptual, intellectual influences of Duchamp, Man Ray and Warhol became important in contrast to the formal developments of Henry Moore or Picasso. This twenty-year gap created an intense drive to reflect the seemingly chaotic conditions into which I had returned.
Following these new influences, my work has developed in two directions; assemblage and figurative. The assemblages have been intermittent in reaction to special events in my life and made from found objects. The figurative work conveyed conformity or isolation by positioning abstracted or block figures in groups. The positioning conveyed the message. These messages described human conditions and began with personal experience. They addressed security found in groups, fear of facing new circumstances, inadequacy, reliance on others and reaching out for control. The gesture of the figure became more forceful, pulling itself up to gain more control of its environment.
In recent work, color became more important as a structural component to create weight, lightness or vibration. The female figure was used specifically to express the frenetic quality of many women's worlds. Interior forces within the figure have been examined, almost disintegrating it. The figure was painted rather than sculpted in the same reclining position repeatedly, showing changes in the energy field within and around it. Repetition gave a larger view of process, almost in the manner of film. The transparent surface of Plexiglas on which these images were painted, created the illusion of a relief to encase the figure with intent to transpose painting as sculpture. Seated figures were painted with oil paint on sheets of clear vinyl to encase them and to allow unruly vibrations of color to whirl around inside the three-dimensional form created by 3 or 4 sheets of vinyl.
The materials used for all aspects of my work have varied, though plastics have dominated because of their unnaturalness to remove any allusion to the Romantic figure. Polystyrene was used for all the block figures and reclining figures except for the colored one which was Vel-mix stone. Oil paint was used on Plexiglas and on clear vinyl sheets. Wood was used for supports and bases.
Fractionalization and segmenting in the positioning of figures and within the figure itself have become a characteristic in my work. The turbulent qualities in life attract me, yet I also need a sense of order. Chaos is not predictable, but not random, which gives me hope to establish more order in my development.
In recent years, there have been lucid dream experiences or visions. Several of the latest works have emanated from this source - 'The Ascension of Libby', 'Vision 1' and Vision11'. The predictability of the subject matter-death of friends and parents - but the unpredictability of their circumstances created a vividness of the visual image which stayed clearly in the memory. Photographs and computer generated images were part of the tools used to create these works. Control versus lack of it continue to wash through the water and light in my pieces.