April 2 to May 7, 2011
Paul Cherwick, “Knotty Naughties”
Paul Cherwick approaches his subtractive wooden sculptures with the spontaneity of drawings, treating them as quick, multi-sided one-offs. Employing a carving technique, he chooses an art that runs the gamut, unchanged between folk art material, and the stuff of priceless antiquities. Cherwick creates his figures as allegories, each with an absurd background story; they show the classical grace of the commoner, rather than his or her banality. His cast of personal folklores draws from Classical Greek mythology, in which individuals serve as tropes, created to personify human qualities in ways that are often very literal. Though he is drawn to wood for its classical nature and inherent morality, his translations of the material often verge on Pop.
In his newest exhibition of sculptures, Cherwick takes present-day characters and immortalizes them through carved wood; a beer-bellied fellow holding a banana and a soda is delivered as a type of private deity. One bust, entitled I am just too unhappy to deserve your kindness sports both a cell phone and a backwards cap, notes which indicate a portrait of apathy that is disloyal in character to its method of production. With his figures, Cherwick acknowledges the danger of steering woodcarving back into the tradition of Renaissance sculptors such as Donatello, and away from pedestrian-type kitsch; in the end, he elects to embrace both.
- Private Area