When you kick a can or shoot holes in the sides, after its been laying discarded in a gully for some time, little insects and life are likely to surge out to seek refuge. Then left alone as it’s intruder loses interest, it lies abandoned, quietly settling back into the natural landscape as the earth begins to engulf it once again. This cycle of interaction between the world and human kind is a tension explored, reconciled and opened up again in Brenton Bostwicks work. The Doorway Series is an eight panel show of Bostwick’s continual investment in the ‘organic movement’ of life, where the interchanges of humanity and ecology are unlatched with shot up old cans, polished wood fragments and other scavenged items.
Taking Duchamps ideas of the ready-made and fashioning them in a way suitable to the early Assemblage artist, the Doorway Series builds on a tradition of finding beauty in the everyday and the forgotten. Bostwicks sources his material, through a system of forging the landscape for pieces of broken foliage or discarded trash, which he claims, polishes and sorts into a system maybe only discernible to himself. He then creates by referencing the different bins for the right fragment of wood, fitting them together as if a puzzle pre-arranged for him. The resulting use of the ‘natural ready-made’ is a refreshing position to the old masters tricks creating pieces that are meditative to the natural and urban environment.
Where the artist typically deals directly with the figure and human form in his work, these pieces examine the traces or residues of the figure in its absence. The disregarded or functional products of society, whose structure is forever being challenged by the decompositional properties of nature. “Tapped Out,” one work in the series displays the mechanics of a human made hydration system where the water flows as if it were vines, growing directly on top of the intended moisture. As the artist would say, where we “attempt to organize, categorize, label and box the world around us, a massive undertaking given the effortless motion of nature as it works to reintegrate our tireless and hilariously futile efforts.” A similar work outside of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where a facet springs from under the buildings name plate, spewing thick ribbons of bronzed(*not sure if it was bronze or wood?) sprawling flows, leaking carefully down onto the sidewalk.
The primary use of wood in the series is a trademark of Bostwick who was previously employed as a carpenter. Each piece takes on the skilled craftsmanship of an experienced hand in wood work. The intricate details and construction of the pieces contribute to the very building the work states ‘nature calls into question.’ An endless cycle of systemizing, erecting and understanding only to be problematize; resonating flux and ambiguity. The collection strives through this interrogation of natural and human struggle for control, never asserting which side it is on.
The original works by Brenton Bostwick are now on sale at the online gallery of Patron of the Arts. In addition to the Doorway Series a limited edition print is also being released, marking the debut of the artists return to paint- and on Wednesday, May 9th,2012, Patron of the Arts will be releasing a very limited edition print of “Sightless Vision”, which can be purchased directly, here.
The ‘doorway‘ becomes an apt metaphor in which to interpret Bostwicks artistic transition. Situated around the notion of ‘sightless vision’, the painting is from a larger collection currently in progress. Continually seeking new means of representation and thriving through the growth of learning from new materials, Bostwicks progression from sculptor to painting has been much anticipated. He proceeds to examine the relationship and movement of natural life, with a palette of reds, greens and oranges opened up through the use of acrylic. Where the assemblage of found object allows Bostwick to create pieces of physicality, the paintings become doorways to different imaginative spaces.
- written by Emily Kramer and with photos by Michael Cuffe
To purchase Brenton’s latest print “Sightless Vision” visit: Patron of the Arts Gallery Store
For more about Brenton visit: http://www.BrentonBostwick.com