For reasons we may never fully understand, human beings respond intuitively to certain forms and combinations of forms, both geometric and organic. The mysterious harmonies between these visually and psychologically resonant forms are the subject of artist David Borgerding’s career-long aesthetic exploration. In his fourth solo exhibition at Callan Contemporary, he presents a suite of new sculptures in fabricated bronze, whose evocative contours contextualize abstract shapes in ways that bypass rational analysis and speak directly to our emotional responsiveness. With a heightened sense of surprise and drama, the sculptures embody a spirit of buoyancy, ascension, and expansiveness, often appearing to levitate above their pedestal bases. The artist has created a syntax of signature forms, which he constantly modifies and expands— sketching and building them into cardboard maquettes, then hollow-forming sheets of bronze into three-dimensional shapes. In the finished artworks, these components appear to cling together through an unseen mutual magnetism, like atoms nestling within a molecule.
With the recipient of two grants from th Joan Mitchell
The sculptures that result from Borgerding’s time- and labor-intensive process evoke and update the spontaneous gestural energy of Abstract Expressionism, but with a stylistic fingerprint that is inimitably his own. There is an unquantifiable charisma in their immaculate formalism, a quality that evokes the primal power of contemplating nature without directly representing the natural world. Individually and in tandem, these shapes allude to truths that lie dually beneath and beyond the patina of their bronze surfaces—recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s observation that “true art takes note not only of form but also what lies behind.”