Paste and Cut: Contemporary Sculpture in Plaster
Lower Level Galleries
August 31 – November 7, 2021
Visitors to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art are greeted in a lobby richly decorated with golden oak paneling and cork floors. They may not notice that the ornamentation continues above, with a ceiling featuring beautiful plaster work. The design was suggested by Charles J. Watson of the Chicago interior decorating firm Watson and Walton, created by Frederick Mottas, and executed by the French-American master craftsman Léon Herman. It features low relief depictions of flora, fauna, and celestial bodies. In honor of this enchanting adornment, and in a continuation of a series of exhibitions that celebrate how artists are breathing new life into techniques and forms found in centuries-old art and design, the Museum presents this exhibition of works in plaster by contemporary artists Amy Kann, Jedediah Morfit, and Mark Webber. Their works show the effectiveness of utilizing the medium in traditional, conceptual, and abstract forms.
Plaster has been used to create art since antiquity, and contemporary artists are taking advantage of the technological advances that have increased the materials from which plaster is produced. Kann uses Forton (made of the modern materials of gypsum-based Hydro-Stone, fiberglass, and resin) and reinforces it with fiberglass. Morfit does the same to his plaster, and also uses the new material of Sculpamold. Webber combines gypsum-based Hydrocal with other materials that include copper wire, stone, wood, and steel.
Kann specializes in realistic portraits and allegorical scenes sculpted in low relief. Morfit’s contemporary vision takes advantage of both traditional techniques and cutting-edge digital technology to produce his colorful work. Webber uses materials from the construction trades, including plaster, in his fine art pieces. Although they are heirs to an ancient medium, these artists take plaster in new directions for our contemporary world to enjoy.
Paste and Cut is generously sponsored by The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Fund.
Kann The Field Forton 31×23 5000.jpg: Amy Kann, The Field, 2014, fiberglass and Forton, courtesy of the artist
Morfit Anemone 1.jpg: Jedediah Morfit, Anemone, 2017, fiberglass reinforced plaster, zip ties, paint, courtesy of the artist
MW 052.jpg: Mark Webber, Untitled, 2019, steel and Hydrocal, courtesy of the artist