Mark Lindquist-Revolutions in Wood, Lia Cook-Material Allusions

Exhibition Index

Mark Lindquist


The Great American Chestnut Burl Bowl 1975
chestnut burl
Collection of Joan Alpert Rowan

In 1904 a devastating blight killed nearly all the black chestnut trees in North America. This bowl, however, was made from an extremely rare piece of preserved chestnut taken from the underside of a fallen tree trunk, which for decades rested between the raised banks of a stream. Exposed to air, the wood was naturally cured.

Turned and Carved Footed Sculptural Vessel 1977
maple burl
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Ascending Bowl #7 1987
walnut
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Small Totemic Sculpture 1987
walnut
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Turned Bowl 1987
spalted yellow birch burl
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

"Spalting" is a New England term for the carbonaceous deposits in dead wood resulting from fungi working in combination with the right soil and climactic conditions. This can produce incredibly beautifully marked wood.

Chieftain's Bowl #3 1987
maple burl and walnut
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Akikonomu 1989
polychromed cherry
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Akikonomu, which is richly decorated in bright, almost impressionist colors and is far more ebullient than most works in the artist's Ichiboku series, means "lover of autumn." This title is taken from the name of the daughter of one of Prince Genji's early loves in the eleventh-century novel The Tale of Genji. Akikonomu married the emperor Reizei, who arranged for special gardens to be planted outside her veranda. These plantings were particularly beautiful in autumn, her favorite season.

Ancient Inner Anagogical Vessel Emerging 1994
cherry burl
Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

Sculptural Vessel 1979
white ash burl
Collection of Ronald and Anita Wornick

Rolling Thunder 1979
maple burl
Collection of Gary and Ruth Sams

Amiran Krater 1980
mahogany
Collection of Robert A. Roth

This work was named for Ruth Amiran, author of Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land, a book that provided Lindquist with Near Eastern prototypes. Fascinated with the matte textures of ancient ceramics as well as the number of pieces in this book that were reconstituted from shards, the artist decided to employ chisels to do all the "wrong" things to the surface of this vessel, including ripping, tearing, and scarring its surface. Influenced by Jackson Pollock's drip paintings, he looked for ways to transgress established rules and make the surface of his vessel as expressive as possible.

Nehushtan 1982
mahogany
Collection of Robert A. Roth

In the Old Testament, Moses is said to have uttered the Hebrew admonition "Nehushtan" as he struck the Golden Calf and thus repudiated the Israelites' idol worship. In creating this powerful piece, Lindquist upended a natural-top bowl, transforming the object into a commanding, energetic cylinder. For the artist, the overturned work is Moses-like, signifying the catalyst of a transcendent experience, not the experience itself.

The MacDowell Bowl 1981
spalted elm
Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Alan R. Lubar

Named for the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where Lindquist spent two months in 1980, this piece is the artist's first major work lathe-turned entirely with a chain saw. For this bowl, Lindquist found a way to translate the hand-carved fluting exemplified by Go Paul-Go (1971) into a machined rhythmic pattern that depends on variations of the chain saw working in tandem with an industrial-sized lathe.

Full Bowl 1981
beech burl, padauk
Collection of Rhea S. Schwartz and Paul Martin Wolf

Full Bowl has not been turned out; it still contains its central core section. According to the artist, this piece may indirectly result from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's acquisition of his Brancusi Cup, which made him resolve not to repeat himself.

Ascending Bowl #5 1981
spalted maple
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Winneg

In this work, Lindquist emphasizes the great scarlike vertical crack that provides passage between inner and outer realms. He believes that this passageway becomes a metaphor of humanity coming in contact with its inner self.

Evolutionary Bowl (Proto-Captive) 1982
spalted maple
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Winneg

Lindquist considers this piece akin to Michelangelo's deliberately unfinished sculptures of bound captives for Pope Julius II's tomb in Rome. Like the expressive figures incompletely carved from blocks of marble, Lindquist's partially realized bowl shifts attention to the formative process, not the end itself.

Unsung Bowl Ascending #1 1982
spalted maple burl
Collection of Mrs. Edmund J. Kahn

Since his father, pioneer studio wood turner Melvin Lindquist, had sought to create wood counterparts of Chinese Sung Dynasty pottery, Mark Lindquist responded with a series of punning "Unsung" bowls. These works not only deflated the aesthetic and symbolic power of the Sung vessels for the younger artist but also served to honor unsung heroes---among them ancient Japanese Jomon pots so admired by Mark Lindquist.

Silent Witness #1, Oppenheimer 1983
walnut, pecan, and elm
Collection of Margaret Pennington

The subject of this sculpture is the tragic figure of Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist who oversaw the development of the atomic bomb. After its successful testing, Oppenheimer repeated a haunting phrase from the Bhagavad Gita, the ancient Hindu devotional text: "I am become death." By employing abstract shapes that can connote either the uplifting experience of self-realization through Zen meditation or the horror of nuclear holocaust, Lindquist conflates the symbolic tree of life with the tree of death. The multipart, columnar form includes a base of turned walnut surmounted by a large bell- or torpedo-shaped piece of elm. The ovoid pecan wood section balanced atop the elm can be interpreted ironically---either as a meditation pillow or the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb. Literal meaning is augmented by the deliberate inclusion of elm, a species of tree decimated in the Northeast by disease. The tall form finally culminates in an ascending vessel whose irregular shape suggests a rising flame.

Prisoner #3

Prisoner #3 1986
buckeye burl
Collection of John and Robyn Horn

Black Eagle 1986
black walnut
Collection of Howard and Jane Cohen

Ascending Captive #1 1992
maple burl
Collection of John and Cheryl Ferguson

On the reverse of this bowl the artist incorporated an elaborate series of markings that refer to forms of human communication throughout history. These include allusions to the graphic symbols of the ancient Maya, Aztec, and Incan peoples, Egyptian hierogylphs, and the Nazca lines in Peru, as well as the pathways of integrated circuits in electronics.

Early Spalted Bowl 1969--70
spalted maple
Collection of the artist

Turned Spalted Bowl with Bark Inclusion 1970
spalted maple burl
Collection of the artist

Go Paul-Go 1971
turned and carved butternut
Collection of the artist

Go Paul-Go, an homage to Paul Gauguin's wood carvings, joins two hollow turned vessels and combines turning with boldly carved waves and a fluted border---a freewheeling attitude that would later characterize many works turned and carved with a chain saw.

Fluted Bowl 1971
turned and carved butternut
Collection of the artist

Natural Top Bowl 1972
maple burl
Collection of the artist

In the early 1970s, while working with burls on a band saw in order to optimize the grain of the wood, Lindquist noticed that the discards of burl and bark looked like the profiles of craggy landscapes. He found that he could achieve the effect he was after by relying on the natural surface of the burl and building a bowl around it. This transformation became known as the "natural top bowl," which has become a prominent feature in Lindquist's work as well as for wood turning in general.

Meditating Vessel 1972
white birch root burl
Collection of the artist

Turned Bowl 1973
spalted yellow birch
Collection of Kathleen Lindquist

Natural Fault Covered Jar 1975
cherry burl
Collection of Joshua Lindquist

Turned and Carved Jar with Sphere Nesting on Top 1975
cherry burl
Collection of Benjamin Lindquist

Lock Top Covered Jar 1976
spalted tiger maple
Private collection

Turned and Carved Covered Jar with Sculptural Handle 1976
elm burl
Private collection

Lazarus Vessel 1976
artificially spalted maple
Collection of the artist

First-Fruit Bowl 1979
spalted maple
Private collection

Obviated Bowl 1984
elm burl
Private collection

Natabori 1989
polychromed cherry
Private collection

Natabori, the first of Lindquist's Ichiboku series, invokes the two traditions of carpentry and sculpture that came to the forefront in Japanese Buddhist sculpture, which aimed to reinvigorate art by relying on the essential properties of the material in which it is conceived. The Japanese work "Natabori" combines the idea of a rough cut surface with a blocky unfinished figure. The artist has enhanced this work by subtly enlarging the waving lines formed by the natural cracks in the wood and by polychroming the piece with a mixture of stains and paint.

Mongaku

Mongaku 1989
polychromed cherry
Collection of the artist



Pre-Apocalyptic Vessel Descending #1 1994--95
oak burl
Private collection

Spalted Elm Burl Natural Top Bowl 1981
spalted elm burl
Collection of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Toreador

Toreador 1984
spalted oak burl, maple burl, spalted maple and cherry burl
Collection of Ethan Allen Inc.

Chieftain's Bowl 1985
spalted maple burl
Collection of the Fuller Museum of Art; commissioned with funds provided by the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, New Works program, 1984

Chieftain's Bowl is an homage to the artist's childhood delight in outdoor camping and an expression of his deep respect for Native Americans and their culture. The sides of this rugged spalted maple burl bowl are embellished with random cuts resembling leaves and vertical notches that the artist equates with feathers.

Turned and Carved Sculptural Bowl with Carved Spoon, 1975, spalted maple
Collection of Greenville County [S.C.] Museum of Art, purchased with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts

In this work the wavy shape of the spoon deliberately parodies the undulating lip of the bowl.


The exhibition was organized by the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, Virginia.


Introduction || Mark Lindquist Bio || Lia Cook Bio || Exhibition/Cook
Exhibition/Lindquist || Renwick || Online Exhibitions

AmericanArt Home