Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From St Pete to NYC: A Breath of Water

Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, "Breath of Water""

Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse are artists who have collaborated for over a decade making large sculptures, prints and paintings, many of them commissioned. They invited me to their large studios to see their latest work, "A Breath of Water" before dismantling it, driving it to New York City, where it will be reassembled at the LAB Gallery [Link], which is at the intersection of Lexington and 47th, in the ground floor of the Roger Smith Hotel.
  The pictures you see here are of the piece assembled in their St. Pete studio. The last time I reviewed them here was for a show at University of Tampa [Link]. In the picture at left can be seen one "slice" or arc section of the entire sculpture. As you can see, though it will fit in a rectangular space (which the sculptors had carefully delineated to scale with blue tape) it is a semi-circular form. The frame bits, which you can see curved and straight through the top and bottom of this picture are made of curved wood. The dangling strips are joint paper (no, not that kind).

Mickett and Stackhouse, "Breath of Water"
In the picture at left, one can see five "slices" or pieces of arc in part of the sculpture. This piece is going to completely fill the space at the corner of the gallery, which is all windows open to the street. The thicker pole 2/3rds of the way to the right is a studio column, not part of the work. As I meandered around this thing, one of the artists' dogs escorted me.
Mickett & Stackhouse, "Breath of Water"
Aptly titled, Breath of Water has a very calming, cascading feeling to it. It is one of those works that changes with every minute shift in one's point of view. At a busy corner in NYC, as passers-by walk along at prodigious speeds (I tried to mimic this while there) all sorts of interference patterns will flicker on and off as they go along. This is a calendrical piece, in that its roundness and horizontal wheel-like "spokes" or partitions have to do, in part, with cycles, and the passage of time. The general effect is one greater and lesser segments, passages and cascading water. I hope there's a little draft from the climate control in the room, to maybe get all those strips swaying lightly. The view on the right is looking just to the left of the view above. Together,they give an idea of how big this sculpture is. The skill and craftsmanship is of  a high level. Even the boxes in which the strips will be transported were beautifully hand-made, looking like something from the American Crafts movement. I wish Carol and Robert a wonderful installation and soiree in NYC. I asked them to take pictures of it installed up there, and as soon as I get them you will see them here. I wish we could have a local bank or business with the space to show this work step up. The sculptors and I just wanted to make sure everyone here got to see it before it migrated.

A special note of thanks to Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse.

--- Luis

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