Sep 21 – Nov 9, 2019
Robischon Gallery is pleased to present Texas-born, Colorado artist Terry Maker’s newest sculptural works. In her inspired and insightful manner, Maker imbues common forms or objects with a unique transformational power. While offering an interpretation of human desire through her willingness to marry unconventional materials with the everyday, Maker keeps a focus on the foibles and missteps that are inherent in the human condition. The subject matter of the sculptural works on view, in both symbol and scale, theatrically address issues of desire and humans’ ceaseless voracity to accumulate and protect material goods and the status they signify. Known for her conceptual yearning to discover what’s inside or at the heart of her subjects, both physically and metaphorically, Maker’s process has often involved slicing through artist-amalgamated layers of materials such as jawbreakers, as in the large wall mounted work entitled Dust, as well as artist supplies, biblical writings or even chewed bubble gum in resin – all in search of the singular slice that is most revelatory. Her assembled sculptural works on view are also informed by layers of meaning, though primarily achieved this time through a process which evolved via accumulation instead of selective elision.
Spectacular in size at ten feet in diameter, Cowgirl Hat Ball, takes its form from five-hundred Western-style straw hats nestled into an immense, spherical wooden armature. The sculpture becomes an object of wonder made possible by its collected and unexpected material and the curiosity-fueled artist who created it. Maker understands the notion well, that where a single hat is fashionable or useful in a way, the many accumulated hats en masse promote attention to an obsession or an urgency, becoming almost weapon-like with its sharp-wit and wholly illustrative idea of “too much” that is somehow never enough. As an abstract form, the symmetrical equanimity of the sphere and each circular brim element is offset by the irregular indented oval-shaped interior of each hat making a connection in scale to individual human heads – the site of rational thought and reason. Larger than life, and yet assembled with recognizable human-scaled elements, the artist manipulates her subject in equally preposterous and meaningful proportion.
Maker also examines the “conundrum and force of attraction,” as the artist puts it, “to temporal concerns in a transitory world and the ever-compelling drive for power.” In this exhibition, the power of the gun and the symbol of the Western hat alludes to outsized expectations and the making of the Western United States: the epic Manifest Destiny that defined the nation. Maker’s sculpture entitled Trigger 2, a smaller version of her previously exhibited tour de force sixty-inch diameter Trigger, is an intentionally concentrated and raucous, sphere-like form made from a variety of cast-foam, decorative gun barrels pointing starburst-like in all directions at once. It simultaneously embodies a cartoon-like, rootin’-tootin’ menace as it also invokes a palpable vulnerability. No one, it seems, is quite safe from the artist’s gun barrels. Provoking serious thought, wonder and humor together, the artist asks each viewer to consciously stand in the line of fire and consider their personal stance on the issue of gun control – an inescapable discussion in the current age of gun violence that also defines America. Using proportion on many deep levels, Terry Maker in her own words concludes that each individual has a “larger-than-life desire and incessant drive to make one’s mark at the expense of possible destruction in order to bring one to contemplate life’s ultimate meaning and negotiate life’s bigger questions.” This call to attentiveness by the artist as seeker, is Terry Maker’s considerable offering to the viewer, a dialogue both personal and universal.
Terry Maker received her BA from McMurry University, Abilene, Texas and an MFA from the University of Colorado, as well as an MA in Education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her work has been exhibited in many solo museum exhibitions including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Museum of Art Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO; Littleton Museum, Littleton, CO; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Museum; and Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO, along with exhibitions at the Denver Botanic Gardens, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, among other venues throughout the United States. A solo exhibition at the Longmont Museum is slated for 2020.