Go take a look at John’s work in progress at the Headlands. Details are below. And then of course come to the gallery show opening Oct 29th.
His work is beautiful and as always, incredibly process oriented. But lately he’s been working on some really gorgeous black and white images of old and odd sculptures. They have a really uncanny, abandoned feel like documents of something long ago, having the sensibility of an Antonioni film. They remind me of (and it goes by a few names) Memento Park in Budapest. Just to be clear, I’ve never visited the park. It’s a park filled with felled social realist statues from the Communist era. That they were torn down, not destroyed, collected, and then placed together in a park in Hungary fills me with a slightly tearful delight. So often we rip away our culture as ideology shifts and discard and bury the evidence. For example, remember the Buddhist statues blown up in Afghanistan or the beheaded Saddam Hussein statues in Bagdad? We torn those down – crushed them, annihilated them. But somehow these statues in Budapest survived the anger and desire to make invisible our follies and stand and lie sideways as reminders of what once seemed right and good – or at least what the governing body told people on the East side of the Iron Curtain was right and good.
John’s photos of the sometimes tagged and somehow sagging sculptures have the same feel about them. They were public works that served as odes to a time when minimalist abstraction and Brancusi and Noguchi were king. These sculptures also stand as timed-out ideological concepts much like the collapsed Stalin.
To me these pictures conjure so much and are so beautifully crafted and leave so much mystery that they delight me.
READ A REVIEW FROM THE WASHINGTON POST HERE:
About his recent show in Baltimore.
In the Headlands Project Space
Tuesdays - Fridays & Sundays, Noon - 5PM Learn more Building 944, 3rd Floor FREE Admission
Project Space offers a chance to visit with Artists in Residence working in two studios that are open to the public five afternoons a week in our main building. John Chiara, in Project Space West September 15 - October 20, is working on an open-process installation.