Sugar Maple

Robert Wiens

Art Toronto Special Projects
October 26 - September 29, 2018

Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple , 2001
carved wood
26 x 31 x 82 inches
photo: Cheryl O'Brien

Presented by the Artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art (Booth C2)

"The predecessor to Sugar Maple, 2001, was Log, from 1992, which was part of a group of untitled sculptures which grappled with the very notion of what sculpture was. Ten years earlier I had been making small memorials, which delved into social injustices, acts of racism, and personal violation. The work then shifted to questioning the nature of memorialization itself and the purpose of public art in general with the introduction of sculptural fragments often found in heaps and disarray. I had become interested in the manner in which sculpture is often used to serve an ideological purpose, and then also how this purpose could be subverted. Many of these works consisted of over-sized statuary fragments critiquing militarist and authoritarian sentiments.

"These works sat low to the ground and were of human scale. Sugar Maple, 2001, as well as its predecessor seemed to point in a new direction, as a kind of film prop-like object, but self-referencing at the same time. As a subject, the idea of a log seemed almost banal, but it had a rich potential as a flowing organic life form.

"Sugar Maple from 2001 drew heavily on the original log sculpture but was a departure in two significant ways. It remained unpainted, and it was modeled after a standing, living tree, using photographs from 8 compass points as a reference.

"The log sculptures remain pivotal for me in that they are deeply connected to my earliest work as a sculptor, and have also pointed the way to new possibilities in the many works on paper that dealt with arboreal subjects and a commitment to environmentalism." -- Robert Wiens, September 2018

Art Toronto
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