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Friday, August 10, 2018

Roosevelt Island Resident And Artist/Sculptor Victoria Thorson Exhibition Of Wood & Ceramic Sculptures On View At Garrison Art Center - You're Invited To Opening Reception Saturday August 11

Roosevelt Island resident and artist/sculptor Victoria Thorson is presenting an exhibition of her work, BassWood Bodies, at the Garrison Art Center starting with an opening reception, tomorrow August 11. You're invited.

According to this Garrison Arts Center Press Release:

BassWood Bodies
Victoria Thorson
August 11- September 9, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday August 11, 5 - 7 PM
23 Garrison’s Landing Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison Art Center is pleased to present BassWood Bodies, an exhibition of wood and ceramic sculptures by Victoria Thorson. The exhibition will be on view in the Riverside Galleries from August 11 through September 9. There will be an opening reception on Saturday August 11 from 5 to 7 pm, 2018.

Victoria Thorson has been seduced by basswood. Its softness of touch, when smooth, evokes the human body. Starting with lumber or recycled wood, Thorson sees potential shapes and feels her way along the cracks, knots, and grain, following the lines of energy. She carves and refines to create slits of light between masses, and discovers abstract forms to express life’s silences and vibrations. When dressed with colored waxes, her work becomes a song from within. The wood is her partner in a dance with nature.

Alice’s Portal

Thorson’s sculptures tread a line between recognizable form and pure abstraction. The goal is to navigate beyond literal thought to engage, not with a story but enter the cave of the mind where shadows, shapes and spaces are revealed. Her work is often anchored by a repurposed metal industrial find that is the right weight, proportion, and aesthetic to be part of the piece, not a separate base. Most pieces can rotate 360 degrees, or swing out to recompose, while the initial core and plumb line stay intact.

Homage to Mlle P created with knot from same plank as Portal

This exhibition will also feature several ceramics Thorson made at Greenwich House Pottery, where she worked as programs coordinator in the 90s. There Thorson learned from the sculptor Peter Gourfain to sharpen a wood tool and cut clear planes when the clay was right to the touch. Since 2000, Thorson has brought her fluid form-language from clay to wood.
Thorson studied at the National Academy of Design with figurative sculptor Bruno Lucchesi and at the Art Student League. Thorson started by modeling the figure in clay and practicing anatomy drawing. Later, Thorson’s study with Peter Gourfain was marked by an increasing pull toward idiosyncratic figurative abstraction. For her transition to minimalistic but precise forms in wood, Thorson says she owes a debt to the rough cuts and technical support of the Salt Lake City cabinetmaker Wally Johnson, and since 2009 to James Murray, the Hudson Valley sculptor and wood maestro, who is also a teaching artist for Garrison Art Center.

Also a PhD art historian, Thorson taught art history at Oakland University in Michigan and at the University of Southern California. She worked at MoMA where she uncovered the fake drawings of Auguste Rodin. Art history jobs ranged from project director, editor, and essay writer for Great Drawings of All Time: The Twentieth Century, 1979 to recent contributor to the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, 2011 writing the definition and history of Abstract Art.

Thorson’s work moves along the trail of post modernism still unfolding in our time. She writes, “I do not innovate to confront or shock but seek to soothe the human psyche. I create to enter a spirit world. Sculpture occupies our space and is the implicit mirror of the god within. If a viewer incrementally rotates my columns, changing aspects, interaction and flexibility follow.”

BassWood Bodies will be on view in the Riverside Galleries concurrently with abstract paintings and tapestries from artist Melinda Stickney-Gibson. Both exhibitions will be on view at Garrison Art Center from August 11 through September 9, 2018.

Here's a 2010 video of Ms. Thorson describing her work at a Gallery RIVAA exhibition.