The world around us is full of functional details we often take for granted in their designated roles. There are those objects whose aesthetics are dictated by their purpose, (hinges, handles, casters, etc) with little room for decorative improvement. These objects, on their own, detached from their original context, imply a utilitarian potential energy. Furniture, containers and other household items, a balance of design and function, retain their critical, practical elements, despite the manipulations of style. Drawing from the minutiae around them, these sculptors find humor in examining the practical for aesthetic qualities.
In his new series, Nick Van Woert, a Brooklyn-based sculptor, creates enlarged, architectural templates. Readymade shapes from these two-dimensional, professional tools become formal decorative elements. Utilitarian plywood and laminates are used in references to their layman construction application, subtly illustrating the overlaps between builder and sculptor.
Canadian sculptor, Georgia Dickie, makes work investigating primary form, functionality and embellishment. Handles, casters and wedge forms are used as decorative details, rather than practical components of her pieces. The sculptures, which combine found and constructed materials, have lightness and animation created by their apparent potential for reconfiguration.
Nathan Manuel recently received his MFA from SVA and currently lives and works in New York. His sculptural works bring together found and constructed objects that diminish, but also embrace commonplace home décor. Areas of slick, flat color meet pieces of furniture and ceramic figurines- a combination of highbrow references to minimalism and lowbrow kitsch, elegantly straddling art history and personal nostalgia.
Seth Crawford lives and works in Baltimore, MD. In his work, he uses simple transpositions of mundane objects and materials, to redirect attention to an objects function, or lack of function, rather than form. The objects are humorously transformed in the tradition of Duchamps assisted ready-mades often as a jab at collectables, kitsch and elaborate furniture design.
Alex Ebstein and Seth Adelsberger co-founded and run Nudashank Gallery, an independent, artist-run gallery in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The gallery's mission is to showcase emerging talent, providing a new venue for national and international artists. Opened in March of 2009, Nudashank has earned tremendous praise and support from Baltimore's art community and beyond. The gallery has received two grants since its inaugural show, one from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and the second from the Baltimore Community Foundation for making "significant contributions to Baltimore's vibrant arts and cultural scene in 2009."