Werner Bargsten presents clay sculptures bound in copper in the exhibition In the Dark: Packages & Shadows. Much of Bargsten’s ceramic work is inspired by childhood memories of the rich, black, Iowa dirt of his family’s farm. The Iowa farm “was fluid and constantly morphing into something else from early spring to the middle of winter, much like my own interior landscape.” He feels that his unconscious is constantly replaying his life like an “endless video loop” inside his head. Snapshots of inner life, his work invite viewers to recognize their own unconscious, human stories. For that reason he does not assign a title to any of his pieces since, once they take form, they belong to others. Vanessa Garcia, writer and curator, states, “…his pieces attempt to break free of their wrapping…seemingly swallow(ing) its copper bindings.”
Bargsten’s work has been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions around the country, currently at the Governor’s Island Art Fair and recently at National Arts Club, Project 440, FrontArtSpace, Miami Basel Art Week, and Ward-Nasse Gallery. In the 1970s he co-operated Brant Lake Pottery in the Adirondacks where he specialized in slab-built pottery. He has taught Design & Sculpture at the Booker Magnet School in Sarasota, Florida, and operated ICBA Inc. in New York City and Los Angeles, producing and directing special effects for commercials and films.
In the Dark: Packages & Shadows features Charles Ramsburg's delicate, dark and quiet drawings from the series Blind Spot. His works are inspired by when his wife and he built a cabin along side a stream on eighty-two acres of dense woods in the Adirondacks. After thirty-five years in the sparsely treed southwest, verticality, shadows, and water propelled his work into challenging new territories. His drawings in response to woodland walks in the Adirondacks explore his interest in the complexities of dimensionality and spatial contradictions caused by monocular vision. Also featured in the exhibition are Pathing Sticks, which draw on the ancient tradition of the walking staff and its esoteric and functional history, while incorporating organic and manmade materials, seamlessly joined to embody the stillness of an inanimate object with the movement for which it is intended.
Charles Ramsburg, b. 1942, originally from the Pittsburgh area, moved west to the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1960's, later to the University of Arizona, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. During this time he also lived near Barcelona in the small Spanish town of Cuenca, home of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Espanol, where he had a profound revelatory moment wherein he knew he wanted to work as an artist. In 1970, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and began showing work. Ramsburg has an extensive national and international record of exhibition. His work is part of many permanent collections, including The Skirball Museum in Los Angeles.