Rona Pondick — Dessins et sculptures
Dessins et sculptures
Past: July 4 → 28, 2012
Since her work first came to prominence in the late 1980’s, Pondick has worked with fragments that invoke the body, including shoes, baby bottles, and teeth, to make wholes that are psychologically provocative and highly suggestive.
In the late 1990’s Pondick made her first hybrid sculptures marrying her own bodily fragments with animals or trees. This exhibition includes sculptures where Pondick integrates her own head and hands with tree forms using hand modeling, computer technology, and ancient casting techniques. Fluidly integrating the hand modeling with a wide range of cutting edge technologies, Pondick makes pieces that are so highly articulated they are technical tours de force. She sees technology as providing tools for her exploration in pursuit of the imagistic, the metaphoric and the psychologically suggestive.
As in Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, Pondick makes a relationship between the human figure and tree forms, evoking bodily feeling and psychological content that shows up in historical mythological subjects. Ginko’s cluster of hands with their palms face up make gestures of receiving, wanting, and yearning that seem to emerge from the branches of the tree. Head in Tree makes powerful relationships between its “umbilical” roots, spine-like trunk, branches, and deeply concentrating head. In Head in Tree, Ginko and Dwarfed Pine, all cast in metal, the transitions between the human and tree forms are so convincing the pieces look as if nature made them.
Bodily feeling is also strongly evoked in Pillow Head, in ways that suggest birth, attachment, tenderness, comfort, and love. Pillow Head, cast in bronze and painted, looks simultaneously soft and as if it is made of porcelain.
Since 1998 Pondick has been working with the same head, originally taken from a life cast but altered for each sculpture. This exhibition includes recent, intimately scaled drawings, where the artist uses her head as a starting point, distorting its form, mutating it to the point where the original, drawn from the life cast has all but disappeared. The drawings are layered in ways that show ghosts of the history of their making.
Born in 1952, the artist lives and works in New York. She studied at Queens College in New York and the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut.