When Ricardo Pascale looks at wood, he sees potential.
He sees textures that are rough, varied and unexpected. He sees colors—some created as the bi-products of tanneries in his home country of Uruguay, he said. Other colors form naturally during the growth process or after exposure to the elements.
Most of this career has been spent transforming wood into hefty sculptures that accentuates the beauty of texture and colors.
Lately, Pascale has switched his focus from wood’s outer beauty to explore inner potential.
His solo exhibition, "Random Movements," features Pascale's new artistic direction. The exhibition is presented at Boltax Gallery on Shelter Island through August 1, 2011.
"Random Movements" features artwork where Pascale “draws with wood” to create drawings that occupy 3-dimensional space, he said.
The exhibition features a series of wall constructions and sculpture.
The artworks are delicate and almost deceptive.
Each artwork uses thousands of pieces to build the form, Pascale explained. For instance, each wall constructions in the Crowd series was made from 25,000 toothpicks, Pascale said.
“They are like pixels,” he said.
Wall sculptures in the series, "Sudden Vertical," are made by layering thin slabs of wood. Each piece takes the form of a utensil. They are placed in rhythmic groupings to make up the single installation.
Capturing grace is the floor sculpture, "Random Waves."
Slender and linear, slim sheathes of wood are compressed to create the curves and twists in the delicate piece.
There are 25 layers in the thin band.
More than any artwork on view at Boltax, "Random Waves" demonstrates Pascale’s finessee of drawing with wood.
“I’m making lines in space instead of on a page,” he said. “I’m layering instead of drawing.”
When asked about the labor-intensive layering process, Pascale shrugs. "It's quite complicated," he said and smiled.
The exhibition includes some wall constructions from the series, "Random Movements." In this case, thin wood pieces were layered to create a sub-surface pattern.
Pascale's wall construction, "Unquoted" presents characters from a made-up language that cannot be read. This language is based on 31 characters that differs from those being used around the globe, said Pascale.
Installed like a block of text or hieroglyphics, "Unquoted" makes the points that communication is not always clear and what is heard may not be what was meant, said Pascale.
The piece represents knowledge and misunderstanding, he said.
"Unquoted" comes from the Italian, “E gia, adesso sa dov è” (and now, you know where it is), Pascale explained. These were the works whispered to Pope Paul VI's successor, who became Pope John Paul I, said Pascale.
“This is my way of calling attention to the emergence of a new leader, one who brought hope to his people,” Pascale stated. “Obama understood the significance. It's not a religious message, it's about hope."
Like Pascale's other artwork, each character was made by layering wood.
BASIC FACTS: Ricardo Pascale’s solo exhibition, "Random Movements," is on view from July 8 to August 1, 2011 at Boltax Gallery, 21 North Ferry Road, Shelter Island. The show is presented in collaboration with Galería del Paseo in Montevideo, Uruguay. The gallery is located in Montevideo's historic district.
Pascale was born and works in Uruguay. He represented Uruguay in the 1999 Venice Biennial. His work is exhibited around the world. Pascale has permanent large-scale installations in Uruguay, Germany, Italy and Peru. The artwork, Great Old Smoking has a permanent home in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. Amaneciendo Verticalment is permanently located in the United Nations Building in New York City.
Boltax Gallery: www.boltaxgallery.com
Galería del Paseo: www.galeriadelpaseo.com
© 2011 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.