David Hicks - May 2011
April 15th - May 2011
Cross MacKenzie Gallery is pleased to present “Farewell” a new ceramic sculpture exhibition by the prolific and powerful artist, David Hicks. This is his second one-person show at our gallery. The title of the show reflects the artist’s recent move from his native California to North Carolina and the sculpture by that name was the last he made in his west coast studio. This exhibition will also be the last in our Canal Square gallery before we move to a new location in Dupont Circle.
This show builds on themes of agriculture and gravity that Hicks explored previously, but the compositions have grown denser, more complex and literally and figuratively heavier. Hicks continues to create an array of gourd-like shapes of various textures and dimensions with an incredible scope of variation. Each element is unique and unfamiliar, inhabiting a place in one’s imagination between associations: at once a cantaloupe, then a beached bouy, an insect’s pod, a bird’s nest or curing salamis and hanging Dutch cheeses. The delight is in the discovery of the imaginative elements and the surprising harmony of the whole. Somehow, all these individual parts grouped together add up to a powerful physical presence and visual experience.
The structure is simple and obvious which helps the sense of order - a single or multiple hooks supporting the steel cables threaded through the ceramic bulbs that dangle and pile up. There is no “less is more” here – its all about abundance and excess, bearing fruit and multiplying, heavy and ripe and ready to plummet. But the sculpture stays up and holds our attention, tempted though we are with the tactile rawness, to pick the fruit before it falls.
There are several pedestal pieces in the show that defy gravity in another way by acting more like metal than clay in their design. With no tensile strength, Hicks has managed to create architectural skeletal structures of openness and space in clay, grids more suited to steel, but the effect is stunning in glazed ceramic.