The Quicksilver Mine Co.
© Sonoma's Own
The Syntax of Metal:
Reese Thornton at Quicksilver
July 22—August 28, 2005
The Quicksilver Mine Co. will host a one-man exhibition of recent metal sculpture and assemblage by Reese Thornton beginning July 22nd. Presented as part of Sculpture Sonoma, a broad-based exhibition of fine art sculpture in both public and private venues throughout Sonoma County, this Show will continue through August 28th.
Thornton, born in Baltimore, made art in the early 60’s in Venice, California. Eventually moving to the Bay Area later that decade, he continued to create metal assemblage out of junk and found objects, often with a satirical cast. In his more recent work, "the aim has been to remove (them) from the worn junk/funk bag, utilizing the objects as raw materials, re-identifying them through the transcendent functions of form and tension, shape and balance," says Thornton.
Now living with his wife, artist Deborah Thornton in western Sonoma County, he continues, saying that his current work also "reflects the organic forms, the long silences and the strong contrasts of shifting light in the rural environment—as well as the increasing interruption of the supporting machine culture." This Show at Quicksilver, Syntax of Metal—Recent Work in Sculpture and Assemblage, will present work completed during the past three years.
"Now and then there are artists that the art world must adjust to, instead of the customary other way around. One such artist is...Reese Thornton...
...fierce, funny, fastidiousbristling!creations...
...I hesitate to call them sculpture…and to further designate them as metal sculpture is to rob them of their poetry and shamanistic power.
Put simply, the revolutionary thing about Thornton’s art is that it is humanistic....and (it is) doubly refreshing because they seem to be neither the result of an artist trying to make or remake art nor, for that matter, the result of seeking to make non- or anti-art. Perhaps Thornton’s found-metal creations succeed where so much other sculpture fails because they are composed of mostly recognizable objects…that do not threaten our world.
But again, Thornton’s work does not exactly have the look of reassembled objects. It is, rather, somehow endowed with the structural solidity, unity and integrity that we might find in a piece by Mark di Suvero. Yet, there is a totally unprecedented originality in (his) orchestration of metal.
It is appropriate that Thornton’s art surface at a time when what looks old is new and what at first seems avant-garde...begins to look passé. If the art world is returning to sanity and equilibrium, I suspect it will do so...because a few pivotal artists, blessed with a nagging humanism, will refrain from predicting or participating in the obvious trends and directions of art."
Chuck Simmons, Artweek
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An Artist Reception for Thornton will be held on Sunday, July 31st from 3—5 p.m.