Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to announce an exciting exhibition of work by John Udvardy. Udvardy is a prolific modernist sculptor whose assembled structures are based in Cubist sensibilities surrounding painting and collage. The varied, elegant work weaves poetic tales of labor and leisure in stunning masses of materials including wood, stone, fired clay, nails, paint stirrers and canvas.
Iron sculptures in the exhibition include Drawing for an Unwritten Sonata. Dynamic object pairings highlight the artist’s expert material manipulations. The metal dips and bends connecting a sickle and a scale into curving lines which frame brilliant negative spaces. Beyond their formal beauty lies the signifiers of these useful-turned-obsolete objects. Repurposing is at the heart of Udvardy’s message, as he uses the elements of his collections to create a dialogue between the labor of the worker and the labor of the artist.
As Udvardy’s sculptures transform functional objects into works of art, they also portray remarkable beauty. Making reference to the human body, Scaramouche: The Samurai is an
intense red, curvilinear structure that evokes power as well as the animation of another presence in the room. Metaphoric permutations abound as a collection of wooden objects is transformed into a substantial human presence.
Udvardy is the dean of the assemblage art form. Judith Tolnick Champa writes, Udvardy “re-assembles objects derived from his massive studio, a dense environment of collecting. Found forms and shapes are source material, a personal palette for positing and devising handsome assemblages.”
John Udvardy is professor emeritus of the Rhode Island School of Design. He trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art and received his MFA from Yale University.