Friday, September 22, 2006

betty woodman & james surls: artists extraordinaire

Betty Woodman is a unique artist in her mediums of ceramics and woodcut print design. She lived in Boulder for 35 years, and just this summer had a retrospective show at the Metropolitain Museum of Art in New York. Her strong sculptural forms blend built cermics with abstract painting. Her inspirations come from ancient Egyptian, Minoan and Greek art, Italian Baroque architecture and the Tang Dynasty, amongst other sources. Woodman, now 75 splits her time between New York and Antella, Italy. Currently, a few of her color woodblock prints are displayed at the Boulder BMOCA on thirteenth street in a group show called "Woodcut Prints from Shark's Ink," until October 14th.

In that same show but in a different space, is a favorite sculpture artist of mine, James Surls. I find his work to be very mystical and spiritual without an overt message. I first discovered his work both in books and at a gallery in Aspen, where he continues to show. Mostly wood, there are metal pieces incorporated into each piece. I appreciate the simplicity of black and the wood grain color. Very geometrical and all seeing, benevolent beings inside each piece. It really sends me. Originally from Texas, he now lives in Basalt Colorado with his family.

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