Step into WSG gallery's entry space and you'll be welcomed by a group of bronze sculptures first. You may stop, wait for them to draw a breath, lift an arm, flex on the ball of a foot, make their next move....
Norma has studied the figure as her primary inspiration, capturing each dancer at the point just before the next gesture - at a point that leaves the viewer anticipating what comes next.
On the walls, you'll see Norma's spectacular drawings. You can see the artist's work process in these pieces, as she sees the figure, records in on paper, imagines the figure's next movement, records it on top of the first drawing, and so on. The drawings have such a poetic nature - meditative, really. The black and gray lines are so elegant against the white paper!
A slight departure from Norma's bronze work and framed drawings are her wall-hung box pieces. I say slight, because her drawings and sculpture provide a stepping-off point for these little pieces. Norma starts with an antique sewing drawer and uses drawings of her dancers, beautiful papers, clay objects and parts from sculptures to create these assemblage pieces.
"Dance With Me", above, is one such piece. The box pieces provide the artist with more immediate satisfaction than the bronze pieces - a nice break from the labor-intensive process of sculpting, moulding, casting in wax, investing in ceramic shell, pouring bronze, chasing, patinating and mounting on a base (WHEW!). Working in several different veins, an artist can feed her soul, invigorate her thought process and, ultimately, discover things that translate among the media she explores.
Norma Penchansky-Glasser's work will be featured from May 18 through June 27, 2010. Gallery hours are Tu, Wed noon to 6, Th - Sat, noon - 10 pm and Sunday noon - 5pm. WSG gallery is located at 306 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Interview with the Artist, Francesc Burgos
I had the pleasure of gallery-sitting one evening with Francesc and decided to ask him a few questions about his background, his work and his process. Read on to learn more!
Q. How long have you been working in clay?
A. I've been working with clay since 1990 or 91. Prior to that, I was an architect, working for a firm in San Francisco that did mostly residential, single-family houses. We did a few commercial projects - warehouses, malls and shelters. I also taught Spanish at U.C. Berkley, where I earned my graduate degree.
Q. How did you come to clay as a medium - how did you know that was the direction you wanted to go, after your architecture work?
A. It was a visit to the Asian Art Museum - I was simply AWED by the medieval Japanese ceramics on exhibit. I knew I had to be a ceramicist! So, I took classes at Laney Community College. Then I pursued an MFA in ceramics at University of Utah, where I was living at the time.
Q. What was it about that first contact with the ceramic pieces at the Asian Art Museum that drove you?
A. I was drawn to the Japanese medieval clay pieces because of their simplicity. They were unrefined, but very elegant and had a lot of presence. You could see the character of the maker in the piece - I'd never realized how expressive ceramics could be!
Q. Could you tell me a little about your working process - how you come from idea to form?
A. I make lots of sketches. Very often I draw cross-sections of the pieces - to plan structurally how they'll be built. I have to anticipate how firing will affect the clay. I start first with form and make full-scale drawings and sometimes templates.
Q. What are some of the things you think about, as you're making those drawings and planning the forms?
A. I am considering interior spaces, structure and the nature of dwelling.