Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jumping Off Of Cliff: A Tribute to H.C. Westermann

Jumping Off Of Cliff: A Tribute to H.C. Westermann
September 20 - November 1, 2010
Opening reception, October 17th, 2-4pm
Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries
The Kenneth P. McCutchan Art Center
College of Liberal Arts
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3596

At first I thought of making a baboon-headed man or a mandrill headed man for this show. I am responding to the craftsmanship of H.C. Westerman’s work and his use of color. I was thinking that ‘Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea ‘ was a signature piece and his most famous piece and that I had to use the same colors, red, white and blue, in my sculpture. H.C. Westerman to me is impenetrable. His work is enigmatic. His art is outside the cannon and in it. He seems not to be responding to other works of art in history or historical art movements but entirely caught up in his own world. Another famous image is of himself, shirtless, in a James Dean pose. I thought a rhinoceros better captured his physique and also his nature. Hence a rhino-man. With color, I usually don’t like to impose color like a mascot on my pieces or use it as a statement or a banner. I usually try hard to use color in a way that responds to the feeling of the wood or the wood grain. Hence the subtle grays, pinks and browns in the wood became silver, copper and gold in my piece. Yet the juxtaposition of metallic paint and natural wood grain seemed like an anomaly: like H.C. Westerman himself.

Rhino Man, 16" tall, maple wood & enamel, 2010 By Donna Dodson

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