DONNA DODSON: ZODIAC & ANDY MOERLEIN: GEOLOGY
by Brian Goslow
Boston, MA – Donna Dodson’s “Zodiac” sculptures & “Andy Moerlein: Geology” (featuring 30 new sculptural works created over the past year) goes on view today at Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave., Boston. There are a series of events tied to the show, including a reception this Friday (Sept. 9) from 5-8 p.m. and “The Art of Collecting: A Forum Talk and Luncheon” sponsored by the gallery & Boston Art Dealers Association talk on Saturday (Sept. 10) from noon-2 p.m.
“Informed by Moerlein’s enthusiasm for scholars’ rocks, the ‘Geology’ will include found rocks, ceramic pieces, wood carvings, and sculptures in other media reinterpreting this ancient Chinese art form. The Chinese tradition of collecting scholars’ rocks involves the elegant presentation of precious and adored stones for contemplation and enjoyment. Often the result of artisanal intervention, the intricate structure of the stones may be deeply carved and drilled, or surfaced with smoothed facets to achieve an authentic “natural” look.
“Moerlein’s investigation of authenticity and artifice embraces many different materials and surfaces. Geology includes beautifully crafted wood and ceramics with surfaces that have been flame textured, wire brushed, carved, painted, or distressed. While many are intimate palm-sized objects, the show also features monumental sculptures.”
“In her newest body of sculptural work, Dodson has created two parallel series, referencing both the animal characters associated with the Chinese, or Eastern zodiac, as well as the sun signs of the Western zodiac. Dodson’s exhibition offers us a menagerie of compelling creatures carved in wood. Based on birth years from the beginning of time to the present day, the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. Each of the 12 animal characters is believed to possess distinct attributes. With roots in ancient Egypt and Greece, the Western zodiac is based on astrological constellations corresponding to the sun’s position at birth. Over time, each of these constellations has assumed their own unique mythological identity.
“Carving has taken a new direction in Dodson’s work, and technical surprises and breakthroughs abound. Due to a windfall of wood, she has been able to experiment, creating sculpture in woods such as mulberry, apple, spalted maple and cherry. The anthropomorphic deities in Dodson’s signature work have morphed into allegories, icons and symbols in which realism and representation play a greater role.”
For a complete rundown of related events, visit http://www.bostonsculptors.com. Boston Sculptors Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon-6 p.m.; for more information, call (617) 482-7781.