J. B. Blunk

in wood.

(go see this!)

At Blum and Poe, here
organized by Gerard O’Brien
of Reform Gallery.

"It is hard to know where to place Blunk as a craftsman.
Though he has achieved his primary success as a woodworker, he has also created an extensive body of work in clay, carved stone and cast bronze and has even made jewelry and weavings. Furthermore, he tends to blur the categories of furniture and non-functional sculpture as if they weren’t there. For Blunk, the issue of art status does not come up; he works without a conception of such a fixed category. His attitude towards such issues is reminiscent of the Japanese indifference towards distinction between art and craft."

J.B. Blunk
March 12 – May 15, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, March 12, 6-8pm

“My way of working, the core of all my sculpture, is a theme, the soul the piece. Sometimes it is evoked by the material, sometimes it is an idea or concept in my own mind. It is always present, regardless of the material, size or scale of what will be the finished piece... Since I principally use a chainsaw to do this, it is a process that moves quickly. At times the cutting away and forming happen so fast it is almost unconscious… I suppose one could say I enter into a relationship with the material I am using and as in all relationships, there are opportunities for surprise.”

"The artist personally built his home and studio in Inverness, CA, on land gifted to him by surrealist painter Gordon Onslow-Ford in return for his exceptional work on Ford’s own home. The structures are masterpieces in their own right, and now are home to the J.B. Blunk Artist’s Residency, supported by the Lucid Art Foundation. In his practice, he sculpted mostly from centuries-old cypress and redwood, with stumps often larger than twenty feet in diameter. The artist would study the grain, or burl of a wood piece for days or weeks, and then without the use of sketches or maquettes work reductively on the form. His signature style of using various chainsaws and hand tools came to be greatly influential to contemporary sculpture and woodworking."

taken form press release...