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Sculpture for the Senses: Outdoor Sculpture

August 4, 2021 - February 28, 2023
Palm Desert, CA



Heather James Fine Art presents a virtual exhibition bringing together important sculptors and their works, covering a range of subjects, genres, and styles. These works delight our senses, from the five classical senses but also our sense of humor, of pleasure, of excitement, and more.

There is the intimate work of Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is a British land artist, known known for using materials from the natural environment to create beautiful works that touch on time, nature, and our relationship to it. This piece contains all the hallmarks of his work as he allows the piece to age outside, the passage of time marked on its surface. He juxtaposes the natural surface of the stone with the carved center allowing for an area of contemplation. Rather than working large, his works are small gestures filled with poetic intent.

On the flipside to the warmth and quietness of Goldsworthy, there are the works by Forrest Myers and Not Vital. Meyers is an American sculptor known for pushing the concept of both sculpture and furniture. He is on a “search for the perfect chair”. The title “Pompeii” implies the inspiration of a piece of Roman furniture. But the title is mostly a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the opulence and classicism of Roman life, now depicted in a wire seat full of holes. Humor is often effectively used in art, and with Pompeii, Myers plays with our perception of art & design.

The largest work in the show, Not Vital’s piece embodies his concept of SCARCH – a combination of sculpture and architecture that creates an immersive awe-inspiring experience offering alternative perspectives. “Tongue” is a specific reference to a cow tongue, a fascinating and memorable subject for the artist, as he was once licked by the animal, which he described as an alien and shocking experience. The highly polished stainless steel finish reflects the environment around it, absorbing the sculpture into its surrounding vista, wherever that may be.

No less monumental in scope if not size, Mimmo Paladino’s sculpture blends mythology, mysticism, ancient Egypt, and Modern art. This piece combines an enigmatic figure with an obelisk, creating a structure of symbolism. Paladino was part of the traansavanguardia movement, the Italian Neo-Expressionist art movement, that returned artistic expression and emotion to art.

Closing out the exhibition is one of the most aesthetically beautiful works is an orchid sculpture by Marc Quinn. Quinn was part of the YBA or Young British Artists. They were known for their shocking use of materials and processes and his fellow YBAs included Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas. Quinn follows the art historical lineage in his use of flowers. In the work of Dutch still lifes from the 17th century, flowers acted as momento mori, symbolic reminders of the inevitability of death and our brief existence. Quinn plays upon this in recreating an orchid. The orchid gives an air of exotic beauty and suspended in a perfect bloom as a sculpture we are able to contemplate life and death.

These sculptures open up different wonders of life, giving us a different perspective as they play and entice our senses.