ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 62

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
David Utermann
, sculpture is, at its heart, a social art. “Giving meaning to sculpture by socializing it,” he says, “is a
challenge that excites me.” In the pieces that he creates from both Syporex (a lightweight form of concrete) and soapstone,
the artist deftly brings together abstract formal issues and a desire to connect with human concerns. His sculptures are at once
elegant shapes and vivid representations of the human form. Their drama comes from both the dynamic power of the loops and
curves themselves and the story that those twists and turns tell about the people who emerge from them.
“I prefer the smooth curves,” Utermann says, “which attract a hand to caress.” But the distinctive sensual quality of his works is
as much a matter of texture as of shape. The blend of the slight roughness of his materials with the smooth forms he creates
from them results in a dynamism and energy that elicit an immediate physical spark. And the challenges of his materials are a
pivotal part of his work as well. He bases his work on the method of direct carving, adding nothing to a work to bring it to its
final shape. “It is created directly,” he says “without the possibility of remediation.” Since there is little margin for error, the artist
must balance the immediacy of his approach with a firm sense of organization and mastery. The resulting pieces have a sense
of clarity and rhythm, mixing spontaneity and precision to great effect.
Another level of expression is added to his pieces through the rich, deep tones in which he paints them. But the essence of his
work remains in making a strong human connection. “I want to get in touch with people,” he says, “and tell them that they are
also potential creators.”
Soif d’Amour I Syporex & Paint 8” x 8” x 20”
David Utermann
Pourquoi Syporex & Paint 8” x 8” x 20”
(photos by P. Di Lenardo)
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