material matters

July 14, 2021

There’s something endlessly exciting to me about the connection between raw material –– wood, clay, stone, metal –– and the maker that inherits it. In the hands of an artist’s imagination, a lump of wood or a slab of clay has the potential to be anything. Some artists, Betty Woodman for example, took a radical approach to the material, turning clay into exuberant multi media murals. Others, create something that bares more of the markings of the material’s original identity, like Eva Jospin’s cardboard forests. Both are an exquisite homage to their chosen material, innovative, original and arresting. We’re drawn to originality as much as we are to the familiar; Nadia Yaron‘s striking wood sculptures are reminiscent of both Brancusi and the tree stumps that they came from. As long as we can see some spark in the work that sets it aside from someone else’s, as long as we can see the artist in the wood, in the clay, in the shimmer of glass, as long as there’s a connection, then something original has been created.


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