Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Considering Thaddeus Mosley

(Full disclosure: In addition to writing fiction, I'm also an art critic. My undergraduate and graduate degrees are in art history, so it's a long-standing interest for me.)

This morning, I'm headed into the city to see the Thaddeus Mosley exhibition at the Mattress Factory (one of my favorite museums because of its unique approach to the exhibition experience). Mosley's works are larger-than-life, inspired by jazz, and recall--in three-dimensions--the paintings of Stuart Davis. Still there are also elements of Brancusi and, to a greater degree, the rough hewn appearance of African tribal art, totems and fetishes.

Mosley has explained that, in the 1940s, he was indeed attracted to African art, and combined this affinity with a love for the music John Coltrane. These two fired his creativity. And like Coltrane, Mosley improvises, never making drawings beforehand, but instead, working spontanously with hammer and chisel.

His work is also based on recycled materials: he gets cherry, walnut and sycamore through tree surgeons from the city's Forestry Division. Limestone and sandstone come from buildings scheduled for demolition.

I'm excited to see this retrospective, which I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of a few weeks ago, when writer Michael Kimball and his wife Tita Chico were in town.

No comments:

Post a Comment