Art We Love & Why – Off the Wall

With the abundance of beautiful paintings in Provincetown galleries, you could be forgiven for taking your artistic nourishment solely from oil on canvas. And the same could be said for prints and photographs. But this week I want to make the case for sculpture. Most of us don’t go looking for sculpture the way we might look for a painting to fit a particular space. And in that sense sculpture is freeing – it can go anywhere and is ever-changing as you move through a room, or a garden. So let’s take a fresh look at the world in 3-D.

 

Kevin Box, Duo in Collaboration With Jennifer Box (painted cast aluminum, 9” x 6” x 55”) – On Center Gallery

Kevin Box, Duo in Collaboration With Jennifer Box (painted cast aluminum, 9” x 6” x 55”) – On Center Gallery

 

You could say that Jennifer and Kevin Box’s sculptures are a sophisticated riff on the old rock, paper, scissors game. The “paper” in this case is painted, cast aluminum. It is supremely elegant and understated in their wall plaques and whimsical in their takes on origami flowers and animals. My favorites are the origami cranes, exquisitely proportioned and perched in a metal framework or, in the case here, taking flight from a slender stone plinth. Timeless and yet you’d never tire of it.

LP Parent, Mushrooms (wood, 11” and 18” tall) – Baie Buttery

LP Parent, Mushrooms (wood, 11” and 18” tall) – Baie Buttery

One of the newest galleries in town is also one of the most charming. Baie Buttery shows the work of local artists, many of whom were involved with the late, beloved Baie restaurant. LP Parent’s mushroom sculptures are immediately appealing. They’re almost portraits, each with a distinctive personality. You’d never guess while running your hand over the satiny surface of the wood that they were brought to life with a chainsaw – and that they’re created from felled trees on a mushroom farm in Truro. A perfect circle of life.

Ed Christie, Kite (resin and dryer lint, 21” x 6” x 6”, with stand) – Alden Gallery

Ed Christie, Kite (resin and dryer lint, 21” x 6” x 6”, with stand) – Alden Gallery

At first glance I thought I was looking at an expertly carved piece of travertine and was deciding whether it was a shell, a bird, or maybe a hand I was looking at. When I got close enough to read the label I did a double take to understand how this could be “dryer lint and resin.” That made it even more fascinating, but regardless of the novel medium, Ed Christie’s sculptures are elegant little totems that would add a sophisticated note to any collection.
Thomas Stenquist, Blue Abstract Blue (copper & mahogany, 9” x 8” x 4”) – Outermost Gallery

Thomas Stenquist, Blue Abstract Blue (copper & mahogany, 9” x 8” x 4”) – Outermost Gallery

Thomas Stenquist’s sculptures are a mass of gorgeous contradictions. They’re sinuous, ethereal pieces of fine art created from cold, hard sheets of scrap metal. They appear to be meticulously thought out and are perfectly balanced, yet the sculptor’s process is spontaneous and intuitive. There’s a joy in letting the eye follow the ribbons of metal as they swirl and dive around each other. He’s captured lightning in a bottle: The work appears constantly in motion but forever frozen at that perfect moment.

 

George Rogers is an artist and ceramicist. After a career in museums including the MFA in Boston and the Smithsonian, he and his husband moved to Provincetown full time four years ago.

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