ART Magazine. San Antonio, Texas.
In “Before Time We Stand and Crumble” the fragility of the world is observed. It does not matter if an element is man-made or natural; we are in constant change or decay. Jeff Forster’s imposing large-scale sculptures made of organic materials, such as wood and clay, resemble architectural structures that decompose in their splendid grandeur. Similarly, Ken Mazzu’s watercolor paintings depict rubble and building ruins. In their joint artist statement they explain: “This exhibition was motivated by a common interest in form and similar aesthetic content. Our choice of title comes from the philosophy that in the face of time all things, both natural and synthetic, change”. Both artists reinforce the fragility of robust structures by their choice of media.
Jeff Forster creates large geometric sculptures that strongly mimic structures used in architecture. These wooden structures are covered with cracking clay giving these fossilized man-made remains a sturdy yet volatile and fragile quality. These sculptures sit on a bed of dry leaves at the gallery’s floor reminding us of our ephemeral existence, while noting our presumptuous humanity and the minuscule relevancy of our humorous and fallacious almighty power over anything. In his latest piece, Detritus Accumulus, Forster recreates rubble, such as a tire and pieces of metal or stone-like debris, with wood fire stoneware and spray paint. The organic material takes the form of non-perennial human remains.
In the same way, Ken Mazzu depicts the extinction point of the powerful man-made structure collapsed into rubble. Mazzu’s pieces in watercolor and oil paint soften these solid structures attempting to emphasize their fragile state. However, the lightness of watercolor is more efficient at emphasizing the fragility of such strong and bold structures. The oil paintings on display are large and portray a softened brushstroke that touches on the artist’s concept, but because of the size of the paintings, the rubble is still empowered due to its dimension. Also, there is an interesting variation in the artist’s composition. While some of his paintings have a sky in the background giving a spatial relationship, in others, the rubble takes over the space creating a rhythmic uncertainty of one’s position within the chaos.
“Before Time We Stand and Crumble” will be on display until June 17th. For more information please go to UTSA’s website.