A Celebrated Contemporary Sculptor Scales Down—Somewhat—for New Bronze Work in San Francisco
The contemporary American sculptor Guy Dill is perhaps best known for his imposing bronze works, many of which are permanently installed in public spaces across his native California. However, a new exhibition at Meyerovich Gallery in San Francisco features a selection of Dill’s smaller-scale sculptures. Smaller-scale, in this case, is a relative term.
His latest works, averaging around 6 feet in height, are taller than many of the people who’ll see them. But these pieces are small compared to Pablo at the Beach (2013), the 16-foot bronze sculpture in Beverly Hills, or Close-Hauled (2007), the three-story sculpture installed on a hotel terrace in Miami.
Dill has unveiled dozens of these monumental works in his four-decade career. Over the years, he has also exhibited maquettes, or small models, of the same sculptures. In terms of physical size, the bronze works in this new exhibition fall somewhere in between. Regardless, they’re very much a continuation of his practice—bold and abstract, geometric, characterized by strong lines and curves, the surfaces sleek and polished.
Certain shapes and forms—long, gentle arcs; smaller, tighter curves—are repeated throughout this latest body of work. There’s a clear sense of movement and fluidity, of forward motion, even of organic processes, like the blooming and wilting of a flower or the twisting growth of a tree.
The power and liveliness of Dill’s work, particularly in urban settings, comes from that very combination: the mystery of abstraction, here rendered in cold, metallic material and paired with a sense of visual movement that evokes the beauty of the natural world.