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PAST EXHIBITIONS

Sylvia Wald: Polymorphs

March 2nd - April 3rd, 2004


Sylvia Wald, In Flight, mixed media, 49" x 48" x 32" 2004-



The Tenri Cultural Institute is proud to present Sylvia Wald: Polymorphs, an exhibition with which to celebrate the artist’s proliferant and important body of sculptural work dating from approximately the early seventies to the present.
Wald has dedicated herself to art making for over sixty years and is considered an American pioneer printmaker and Abstract Expressionist artist. This trailblazer innovated new methods of silk-screening with oil paint instead of ink, during the forties when the genre was still being defined rather rigidly in America. Moreover, in the late thirties Wald contributed political illustrations to publications such as the New Masses for the purpose of bringing about the social changes necessary for the parity that sustains democratic values. In the early forties Wald painted in an abstracted style, dignified figures of African Americans in their army attire while her sculpture reflected the conditions of tenement neighborhoods. Up to 1963 or so, Wald made prints, sculptures and paintings, but has concentrated mainly on sculpture for the past 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvia Wald, Two Phases, mixed media, 51.5" x 24.5" x 9.5" 2003-present
Sylvia Wald, In Flight, mixed media, 49" x 48" x 32" 2004-

 As an Abstract Expressionist Wald would have been exposed to the Surrealist developments that inspired many artists of that period to work with automatism and gesture. This voyage of discovery and use of found objects have been part of Wald's creativity as well as her use of the gesture as seen in her roughly textured built up surfaces. This body of work engages in a certain lyricism seldom found in very finished or pat constructions, but rather due to its ever-developing quality it retains freshness and vitality. Wald's sculptural entities, so called polymorphs in the essay because of their composite character, are composed partly of natural and part manmade materials. One such example is the work In-Flight, 2004, a piece made from chicken wire, cord and feathers. These hybrids interchange metaphor and space to produce fantastic creatures of powerful beauty.The show is accompanied by a deluxe hard-cover catalogue edition with three essays. The first one written by the curator Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos, uses psychoanalytic methodology to study a number of Wald's pieces in terms of Freudian dream mechanisms. The second essay written by Robert C. Morgan, situates Wald within her cultural context in terms of her lifelong dedication to art. And, the third is a piece by Raul Zamudio who brings Wald into the contemporary artistic context.
 

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