Kirk discusses his work and process on Thursday, Sept 14 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, with a reception following from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.
In nearly 20 highly-realized maquettes, Kirk shows himself to be not only a master craftsman but an artist of immense imagination. His forms draw from many quarters including nautical engineering, architecture and nature. When these influences and references combine, un-knowable, un-nameable yet familiar forms result and tease with an implied, fractured narrative.
For nearly 30 years, Kirk has worked in large-scale metal with complex, welded pieces regularly measuring 10 to 12 feet. The scale of these works often demands that Kirk explore both his forms and techniques in smaller, more mutable studies such as the maquettes in this exhibition. The painted wood trials are not just miniature versions of works yet to be made, but also are a record of the artist’s creative process – not all of them are intended to become full-scale pieces. In fact, the artist estimates that perhaps only half of his maquettes make the cut to be scaled up. Other maquettes, though small works in their own right, do hold their own against their larger steel siblings. Typically made of painted wood, the patched and patinated surfaces of the maquettes approximate the color and sheen of steel, but also allow for views of Kirk’s ingenious engineering – forms made of flat, stiff material bend, curve and swell with unexpected grace.
Kirk was born in Saffron Walden, Great Britain in 1955. He earned his BFA from St. Martins School of Art, London in 1978 and his MFA from Syracuse University in 1980, and has received grants and awards from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. He has shown widely in group and solo exhibitions, and has work in permanent collections throughout the East Coast. From 1980 to 2000, Kirk was the Studio Manager at Sculpture Space Inc. He continues to live and work in Utica.
Teaching Gallery exhibitions are supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media and Vice President for Academic Affairs with assistance from the Cultural Affairs Program and the Hudson Valley Foundation. All exhibitions are installed and staffed by students in Gallery Management classes.
Teaching Gallery hours
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday and Monday: closed
Directions and more information: www.hvcc.edu/teachinggallery
***Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.