April 19 – June 8, 2013
Opening Reception: Spring Gallery Night, Friday, April 19th from 5 – 9pm
Featuring the assemblage sculpture of John Balsley, Demitra Copoulos, Dan McGuire and Kendall Polster, this strictly figurative exhibition takes a look at a body that never dies.
John Balsley has been creating work and exhibiting nationally and internationally for over 35 years. Balsley’s nearly 200 exhibitions demonstrate his prolific approach to art making. His newest series of mechanical aluminum robots was developed from his previous collage work, which incorporated images of flora and fauna and commented on social issues such as war and violence. Balsley is currently interested in anthropomorphic robots. His influences include H.C. Westerman, Bauhaus, Oskar Schlemmer, Marcel Duchamp, Native American art and Charles Sheeler, and particularly the book Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us by Rodney A. Brooks.
Demitra Copoulos is a Milwaukee-based visual artist working primarily in sculpture. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UW-Milwaukee, has exhibited locally and nationally, including in Chicago and New York City, and has done multiple large-scale public commissions. Her work is a satire on culture and human nature and takes a Shakespearian view of reality: it’s a fluctuation of comedy and tragedy. Copoulos uses the human figure as a vehicle to explore opposing forces such as order and chaos, beauty and ugliness and strength and weakness. She says of her work, “I like to poke fun at stereotypes and common social beliefs by using exaggerated and stylized forms to achieve a visual paradox.” The result is often comical and unconventional imagery.
Dan McGuire is a professor of art at UW-Whitewater. His primary discipline is sculpture but he periodically teaches 3-D foundations courses. McGuire’s work is typically expressive of close family and personal experiences. He prefers creating his figurative sculptures by re-purposing found objects and juxtaposing those objects with a variety of parts and pieces that he has physically and emotionally produced. The end result is a unique statement about his daily inter-personal relationships.
Kendall Polster has been building things and making furniture throughout his life. His brother, who has several learning disabilities and didn’t graduate high school, taught him how to weld, which is how Polster makes his living. After college, he worked as a blood research biologist, and found that he had a lot of free time on his hands, so began welding. He believes welding may have been a reaction against the lack of evident creativity in the science fields, which had thus far consumed his life. Polster prefers when an object has a function, saying, “Sometimes a bit of utilitarianism in sculpture is ok.” He adds, “I should say that welding, torching and grinding metal can be quite the performing art in itself. It’s an experience.”