Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cesar Alvarez and Peter Hide

It is a plesant coincidence that in the same week MFA sculptor student Cesar Alvarez and local sculptor legend Peter Hide both open their shows at FAB (outside sculpture garden) and Scott Gallery, respectively.

Alvarez, whose work on first impressions alone, echos the lineage of Hide, Anthony Caro, and David Smith. Although even within this lineage there is already fractions and tangents in style and theory, Alvarez appears to take up where Hide left off and returns to the simplicity of the 'abstract' form. The shapes, the forms, seemingly present a sense of being, an ontological presence that balances the urge and the resistance to shape an existing form.

Clearly the skill level differs; there is no question that Hide is the senior weilding his scraps and pieces into a form wholly of his own creation. Also, Hide's current pieces were on the smaller scale, and therefore changes their overall density and impact; but looking at both's approach to metal, where one is just beginning and the other just entering his golden years, one can only wonder how each relates to their respective craft.

This is not just 3D sketching as some believe modernist sculptures to be; and to the passerby, the large forms standing on Edmonton's street corners, parks, and LRT station platforms can appear indistinguishable from one to the next. But looking closer, sandwiched between the impressions left by encountering Alvarez and Hide, there seems to always be a power over the object; and it is this overall presentation of this domination, this ever-present presence, that makes them at odds with the fleeting transience of forgettable public encounters.

2 comments:

MC said...

Ok, I bit my tongue, but now I'll just come out and say it:

Y'all just don't really get sculpture, do you? I mean, Amy gave it a shot in this post, and she should get credit for trying, I suppose, but the main feeling that I get from this writing is a sense of bewilderment...

Am I off the mark?

amy said...

close enough.
I can only react to its presence, if it has one.

but I am interested in hearing what you think sculpture is about if you want to share it.