Eleos Cascada: A Richard Erdman Sculpture from Richard Erdman on Vimeo.

Watch the monumental sculpture Eleos Cascada take form from the first cuts in Italian bardiglio marble to the installation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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Red on the Beach

Our friend, sculptor Jonathan Prince, will install a monumental work in African granite entitled Red at the Newport Beach Inaugural Sculpture Exhibition; details below: 

Sculptor Jonathan Prince is one of ten artists selected to contribute a monumental work to the Newport Beach Inaugural Sculpture Exhibition at the Newport Beach Civic Center’s 14-acre, ocean-view site.  Red, a work in African black granite, will arrive late to the show, as it was committed to an earlier exhibition, which ends in the fall.

260 submissions from artists located worldwide were received and juried by a local selection committee consisting of up to three Newport Beach Arts Commissioners, two local arts professionals (Dan Cameron, Interim Director and Chief Curator, Orange County Museum of Art; and Richard Turner, Artist, Professor Emeritus of Art and Co- Director of The Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University), and art conservator Christina Varvi, Assistant Conservator, RosaLowinger & Associates, Los Angeles and Miami.  

Prince’s Red will be exhibited for two years at the site.  The  black granite sculpture is a bi- concave disc form with a mirror polished surface designed to reflect the environment in which it sits; contradicting the artist’s quest for geometric perfection. According to Prince, “the reflected images morph and distort, pulling the viewer form the comfort of perceived order.”

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The Slow Breath of Art

Text by Michael Wehunt; images courtesy Richard Erdman Studios 

The gnarls of a Scotch Pine reach over low sandstone walls toward the sinuous grace of Richard Erdman’s sculptures, the first works of their kind to be introduced into this living canvas.  Branches dapple shadow on stone, where permanence meets slow breathing life. With specimens such as Red Japanese Maple and Erdman’s postmodern beauty carved from Brazilian Blue granite, the tongue can almost taste the exotic tinge. But open spaces and minimalist grandeur are the true flavors of Baummuseum, Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea’s shrine to the awe of time.

The “Tree Museum” unfolds itself across 75,000 meters, a blend of arboretum, sanctuary, and artwork. Upon the ghost of a 14th-century monastery in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, near Upper Lake Zurich, the art here stands within the elements. It breathes the open air of seasons, cycles, change. This breathtaking collection of dozens of rare species, a cultivation of aesthetics that is simply remarkable, instills a sense of refreshing wonder. Enea, a renowned landscape architect and tree collector, has an affinity for trees as art form, often rescuing them from doomed environments. Given new life in the museum, they now grant an inner calm in their unique shades. Taking on a new dimension, the Tree Museum is now home to a budding collection inclusive of works by Marc Quinn, Tony Cragg, Damien Hirst, and now Richard Erdman.

            Four of sculptor Richard Erdman’s monumental stone sculptures have found fresh depth in this idyllic setting. Sentinel (fig. 1), spills upward from its pedestal like waking water, its blue stone (the largest sculpture carved from Azul Bahia granite) striking a proud posture framed by the lush green of Enea’s trees. The fluid energy poised here is a bold contrast in such a contemplative context, yet complements the scene with a perfect rapport. 

            Spira (fig. 2), based on Erdman’s well-known Eleos,takes to the water, perched atop the museum’s pond. Two and a half tons of Italian Bardiglio marble remaining from thirty-three ton block; it is the largest Erdman piece yet placed on water. It gives the impression of rising, the blue veins threading the stone like rivulets, just as the viewer is captured in the endless illusive motion of its shape.

            Elsewhere in the museum grounds, Fiora (fig. 3), born from Italian Siena travertine, seems to mimic its leafy neighbors, opening like new petals to the gracious air. It invites a dialogue for the senses. Depending on the angle of view, the piece pulls several of the earth’s workings to mind: a hint of sand, a burst of trumpeted music, an impression of flame, even the bones that are the roots of ourselves.

            Occupying a more intimate space on the museum grounds is Volante, (fig. 4) a magnificent piece that presents in its graceful, asymmetrical arcs a fleeting sense of a dolphin reveling, while somehow also suggesting a curled sleep. It is a dignified piece, carved from Italian Bardiglio, and welcomes you into the safety of its folds. The soft backdrop of Enea’s trees brings out the languid vibrancy of its striking rest.

            “Passion creates wishes out of dreams,” Enzo Enea says, “and wishes motivate us to strive to make those dreams reality.” Richard Erdman has said that the work of an artist is to “turn dreams into responsibilities.” These statements were made independently. The meeting of these two artists has sounded a deep chord of kinship. Erdman’s work often draws the eye like water captured in stasis, midflight. There is a sense of bloom. Air and light and the stretch of infinity serve important roles in his stone carved out of the earth, seeming to strive for even the ultimate grace of the surrounding Alps. The trees in Enea’s Baummuseum follow the same elements, though with some impermanence blended in, a little mortality to ground us. And we can witness nature holding nature in its timeless palm.

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WEIGHTY MATTERS

October 21, 2013 by uvmeditor

Did Italian sculptors of the Renaissance and Baroque eras alter their styles depending on whether a work was bound for just down the road in Florence or going across the Mediterranean to Spain? Did Michelangelo ever really believe that his David would be hoisted to a perch high on Florence’s cathedral?

The answer to the first question is yes. The local sculptures exhibited a delicacy and grace that was compromised when the artist knew his commission (often a gift to curry favor with a foreign power) would be crated, hoisted, and shipped out from the docks in Genoa. As for Michelangelo and the legendary David, most likely the artist never thought his work would or could be lifted to a fairly ridiculous location on il Duomo. As William Wallace, professor of art history at Washington University, put it: “There is no avoiding the tyranny of weight.”

“Italian Renaissance & Baroque Sculpture: Material, Manufacture, Meaning and Movement” was the title of an unusual day-long symposium held in Billings Library on Friday. Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio, associate professor of art history, was the driving force behind the event that brought experts together for what she called “a scholarly exchange about practical issues.”

image

While most of the day belonged to Italy, the Renaissance, and scholars, late in the afternoon sculptor and UVM alumnus Richard Erdman ’75 brought the perspective of a contemporary artist who has grappled on a very serious level with Italian marble and that unavoidable tyranny of weight. Erdman’s workPassage, a commission for the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo in Purchase, New York, is the largest sculpture in the world made from a single piece of Travertine marble. Through a slideshow, Erdman told the story of how the stone was quarried in Tivoli, a 30-foot block weighing 450 tons, slimmed to 120 tons for a very slow four-day drive by truck to his studio in Italy, and finally, at a mere 45 tons, shipped to the United States then driven north through the streets of New York City in the wee-small hours.

A native of Vermont’s Rutland-area marble belt, working with stone is a lifelong passion for Erdman. “It’s the most life affirming of all materials,” he told the scholars and guests gathered at UVM last Friday, “250 centuries of living geology.”

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Check out the current issue of Art in America for images and information regarding Fiora, recently installed at the Enea Tree Museum in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland. 

Check out the current issue of Art in America for images and information regarding Fiora, recently installed at the Enea Tree Museum in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland. 

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Remembering the exhibition ‘Richard Erdman: Three Decades of Sculpture’ at #MadisonGallery in La Jolla, California.

Remembering the exhibition ‘Richard Erdman: Three Decades of Sculpture’ at #MadisonGallery in La Jolla, California.

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Cascata: A Richard Erdman Sculpture from Richard Erdman on Vimeo.

See the making of Richard Erdman’s monumental work entitled Cascata

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Featured in West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park’s Spotlights: 
There are certain groups whose mutual exclusivity we, as a culture, commonly reference: there are those who look at the glass half full or half empty; cat people, dog people; field players, goalies; and the list goes on. While sculptors are artists, and artists can be sculptors, the divide between 2-dimensional art and the 3-dimensional form leaves sculptors out-numbered and on one side of a binary divide.
While it is difficult to generalize the tie that binds sculptors as a group, when Richard Erdman recently spoke at West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park to reflect on the method and medium that has guided his work for nearly 40 years, one can’t help to think that others of his ilk share the same inspiration.
“I want my work to reflect the senses that we experience and I have always found that the more sensations that are being activated, the more lively experience you are having…you are engaging your senses so much deeper, and I find that to be the spiritual part of life and why I do 3 dimensional sculpture”, explained Erdman. And there is no better example of this spiritual engagement but at the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo in Purchase, New York, where Passage, the largest sculpture in the world carved from a single block of marble, enlivens the senses and piques our interest in the sculpture and the sculptor himself.
The nine-minute documentary, Richard Erdman: A Profile, captures the spirit of Erdman’s work and his creative process from conception to fruition, leaving the viewer wondering if sculptors are in fact a breed of their own.
VIEW ERDMAN’S WORK
CONTACT WEST BRANCH

Featured in West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park’s Spotlights

There are certain groups whose mutual exclusivity we, as a culture, commonly reference: there are those who look at the glass half full or half empty; cat people, dog people; field players, goalies; and the list goes on. While sculptors are artists, and artists can be sculptors, the divide between 2-dimensional art and the 3-dimensional form leaves sculptors out-numbered and on one side of a binary divide.

While it is difficult to generalize the tie that binds sculptors as a group, when Richard Erdman recently spoke at West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park to reflect on the method and medium that has guided his work for nearly 40 years, one can’t help to think that others of his ilk share the same inspiration.

“I want my work to reflect the senses that we experience and I have always found that the more sensations that are being activated, the more lively experience you are having…you are engaging your senses so much deeper, and I find that to be the spiritual part of life and why I do 3 dimensional sculpture”, explained Erdman. And there is no better example of this spiritual engagement but at the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo in Purchase, New York, where Passage, the largest sculpture in the world carved from a single block of marble, enlivens the senses and piques our interest in the sculpture and the sculptor himself.

The nine-minute documentary, Richard Erdman: A Profile, captures the spirit of Erdman’s work and his creative process from conception to fruition, leaving the viewer wondering if sculptors are in fact a breed of their own.

VIEW ERDMAN’S WORK

CONTACT WEST BRANCH

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Chris Villano preparing a crate for shipment to #SculpturesiteGallery in Sonoma, California.

Chris Villano preparing a crate for shipment to #SculpturesiteGallery in Sonoma, California.

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galerie artziwna has works in both stone and bronze on view in Vienna, Austria.  Please visit the gallery’s website for additional information. 
Richard Erdman: A Profile can be viewed here. 

galerie artziwna has works in both stone and bronze on view in Vienna, Austria.  Please visit the gallery’s website for additional information. 

Richard Erdman: A Profile can be viewed here

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Plaster Station Two #richarderdmansculpture

Plaster Station Two #richarderdmansculpture

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Plaster Station #richarderdmansculpture

Plaster Station #richarderdmansculpture

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Plaster Station #richarderdmansculpture

Plaster Station #richarderdmansculpture

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Hand Tools                                        #richarderdmansculpture

Hand Tools #richarderdmansculpture

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Richard’s Plaster Station  #RichardErdmanSculpture

Richard’s Plaster Station #RichardErdmanSculpture

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