Sculpturesite Gallery

HEADS UP! The Human Head Interpreted by 7 Sculptors

HEADS UP! The Human Head Interpreted by 7 Sculptors

Sonoma, CA USA Saturday, June 9, 2012Wednesday, October 3, 2012
heads up! the human head interpreted by 7 sculptors

HEADS UP! The Human Head Interpreted by 7 Sculptors

Price on Request

Sonoma, CA USA
Saturday, June 9, 2012Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a new leaf gallery | sculpturesite is pleased to announce the exhibition: HEADS UP! The Human Head Interpreted by 7 Sculptors, on view from June 9 through October 3, 2012. An opening reception will take place June 9 from 2-5pm.

We are delighted to present a new group exhibition of human heads and torsos by seven sculptors in wood, ceramic and mixed media. Featured artists are: John Atkin, Mark Chatterley, Nina Lyons, Mike Moran, Tony Natsoulas, Carol Schwartz and Kathy Venter.

As repositories of all five senses and the brain, our heads are the receptors and emitters of most of human communication. Emotions and personalities are best expressed facially, which may explain why many portraits have been reduced to heads and torsos since antiquity. “In this exhibition, we bring together an extraordinary range of heads depicted by seven sculptors: from poetic abstractions, to naturalistic portraits, to biting caricatures,” says owner-curator Brigitte Micmacker.

Kathy Venter is preparing a major solo retrospective at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. We are honored to show two of her bust portraits: the pensive “To the Sound” and the exuberant “Phalaborwa”. They are both made of terracotta and gypsum and are the outcome of the incredibly keen observation Venter makes of the models sharing her studio for many weeks, and her unerring translation of these details into clay. But beyond the likeness that most observers assume comes from a molding process, Venter captures the personalities, and some would say the soul, of her models like no other sculptor quite does.

British artist John Atkin was the only student to be personally funded by Henry Moore to attend the Royal College of Art in London. He is recognized for his public commissions addressing urban renewal and large-scale abstract sculptures on four continents. More recently, Atkin has been creating figurative work and, more specifically, large heads for placement in the public realm. We are delighted to include highly textured and larger-than-life “Portrait of JKA”, a portrait of his father, made of corrugated cardboard, aluminum mesh, wire, string and acrylic built upon an elaborate wood sub-structure.

In his most recent group of heads, Washington State-based artist Mike Moran explores memory, longing, dreaming, the sacred, and loneliness. But he also unabashedly plays with textures and rich color pigments to endow his works with a mysterious, earthy quality. In “Rock Heads Cart”, Moran stands two expressionless faces back to back, and then balances the primitive cart with a bewildered head fragment thrown upside down. In “Memory Cart”, a massive male head with wide open eyes is caught in speech, while a gray female torso occupies the back of his head. “Boulder Shrine Head” stands 27” tall and evokes a children’s book illustration of an anthropomorphized boulder. The back side of the blank face contains the delicate shrine, a lovely woman’s face caught within steel branches.

Tony Natsoulas, who studied at UC Davis and at the Maryland Institute College of Art, says his most influential teacher was Robert Arneson. “A descendant of Pop and California Funk, Natsoulas’s work goes beyond both,” says Scott Shields, chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. “Embracing what may be best termed “camp” – that which is outrageous in its artificiality, affected, and referencing the out-of-date in an amusing manner – he has manufactured a style distinctly his own.” Natsoulas is showing his latest work, the 88” tall “Producer of Preposterous Pictures of Peculiar People Who Prowl This Perplexing Planet” and a group of wall-hung masks.

Mark Chatterley, an internationally celebrated ceramic sculptor who has been represented by our gallery for 20 years, is best known for his full-size figures, often stacked in gravity-defying installations. He contributes to this show his latest candid large-scale portraits of friends, finished with his signature lava-like glazes. The large heads are stacked as striking totems and can be placed indoors or in the garden.

Nina Lyons received her Master of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts where she was fortunate to have Viola Frey as a teacher. Her contemplative sculptures are highly textured with layers of earth-based materials and pigments. She contributes four works, including a pair of 20” tall mask-like heads with strong features emphasized by dark markings, and a ghostly torso with her signature blank face and slight head tilt.

Carol Schwartz is a 2007 recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship in sculpture. She is a graduate of Pratt University and the Art Students League in NY. Her imposing figures, carved out of laminated wood and painted, have been exhibited in five states. Schwartz shows two portraits in this exhibition: “Head on Blocks” depicts a middle-aged woman with a highly textured wood surface; “Manny” is a young man with a pained expression. His head is highly detailed, while his torso is formed but left uncarved – as if the artist wants to revisit the work in a few years, when she knows what sort of a man he has become.

a new leaf gallery | sculpturesite is open daily from 10am – 5pm and is located at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23588 Highway 121, Sonoma, CA 95476. Phone: 707-933-1300. Email: Website: