A Sense of Balance:
The Sculpture of Stoney Lamar
Stoney Lamar, American
(Alexandria, Louisiana, born 1951)
All Dressed Up
madrone burl, steel, milk paint
22 x14 x 6 inches
Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection
Purchased with a gift from John and Robyn Horn
Photo by Tim Barnwell
October 24, 2014 - January 18, 2015
This exhibition of the sculpture of Stoney Lamar presents work from 1987 to the present. Uninspired by traditional turned wood vessel forms Stoney Lamar embarked on a personal exploration of the lathe and other tools of turners and woodworkers. This spirit of experimentation has firmly placed his work in the avant-garde of the wood turning world. Not only was he one of the first to use multi-axial turning, but eventually he added steel, color and distressed surface treatments.
With a history dating back to 1300 BC in Egypt, turning is an ancient process of working wood. At first turned items were produced for utility but it wasn’t many centuries before they were embellished. The skill of turning has been honed and refined and now includes objects that are difficult to identify as having been turned. Some of Stoney Lamar’s work could be so classified, but careful examination shows the mark of the lathe, chisels and, most notably, the chainsaw.
For many, wood is a sacred material. But there is a long history in which artists have used wood in sculpture with only minimal regard for the wood itself, other than the fact that is malleable. Stoney Lamar’s respect for wood is central to his creative vision and comes from his long association with this natural material. This exhibition is a testament to artistic endeavor, showing how beautifully the essence of wood can be honored and how masterfully technique, color and surface can blend in works that explore balance and imbalance, order and symmetry, energy, rhythm and harmony.
A Sense of Balance: The Sculpture of Stoney Lamar was organized by the Asheville Art Museum and guest curated by Andrew Glasgow. The exhibition, catalogue and national tour is made possible by the generous support of many individuals and foundations across the country.