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March Issue 2003
Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Features Works by Thomas Sayre and Tom Stanley
Hodges Taylor Gallery in Uptown Charlotte, NC, is presenting two new solo exhibitions including: Earth Vessels and Scribblings, featuring sculpture and paintings by Thomas Sayre, and across the river, featuring paintings by Tom Stanley. The exhibitions open on Mar. 7 and continue through Apr. 26, 2003.
The two exhibitions present artists who are significant not only for their artwork but also for their commitment to art in the region. Thomas Sayre has been very active in the public arts arena both as a sculptor and as a partner in a company, Clearscapes, which he co-founded with architect Steve Schuster. Sayre's talent has been put to use in design and construction on various projects at home and abroad from Sacramento to Istanbul, including a familiar one closer to home, Exploris children's museum in Raleigh, NC.
Tom Stanley is an educator, a curator, and gallery director at Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, SC, and is the past director of the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC. In addition to his curatorial work, Stanley has curated shows internationally, among these are the Gene Merritt Drawing at the Musee Invention Franche and the Portraits et Personnages: Selected works form the Collections de l'Art Brut in Lausanne Switzerland.
Highly acclaimed for his sculptural "earth-castings," Thomas Sayre reverses the process for the vessel forms in this exhibition, molding the cement over an earthen form. Line, form, color and texture are the tools used so beautifully to build a complete landscape. Sayre's long-standing respect for the earth is evident in each piece. Even while using an industrial material such as concrete for his medium, Sayre honors the earthen mound used for a mold by maintaining the surface texture created by the earth.
In addition to sculpture, Sayre will have paintings on display. He explains his use of paintings to accompany the floor pieces, "what links this seemingly disparate work of fiberglass and concrete vessels with complex mixed-media drawings is a reverence for the richness of form and surface which comes when human will serendipitously interacts with the grain of physical materials."
Like earlier work entitled en route to hamlet, Tom Stanley's new series across the river is inspired by the idea of journey. This latest series has also relied upon ongoing research of his grandfather, John Thomas Stanley, who was a decorative arts painter in New Orleans before his untimely death in 1920 by drowning in the Mississippi River. As no images exist of the elder Stanley, the younger Stanley uses the paintings to create his own images of his grandfather. To do this, he uses icon-like imagery of bridges, isolated trees, boats and the work-tools, which his grandfather might have used.
The subdued palette of Stanley's earlier series, en route to hamlet is present in this new body of work but the iconography is more insistent. A shift to a larger format provides the artist an opportunity to play these stylized images against each other and against a more complex ground within the same canvas. Reflections of times past haunt the viewer and providing glimpses of another environment, held together by subtle threads of color, line and this artist's extraordinary talent.
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