Mason-Nordgauer Fine Arts Gallery

Mason-Nordgauer Fine Arts Gallery

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Bert Gilbert

I have been creating objects since I was a kid, spending countless hours in my father’s tiny basement workshop. Toy boats, wood carvings, and elaborate alarm systems to keep my sisters out of my bedroom, were my specialties.

I received a BA in Sculpture and Painting from Indiana University in 1983, but, allowed many years to pass artistically fallow while creating a family, home, and remodeling business. When I turned 50, after years of tromping down other creative paths, I decided it was time to return to the sanctuary of my youth, making art.

Invigorated by the amazing iron casting workshops at Sculpture Trails of Solsberry, Indiana, I discovered an instant affinity in working with metal, probably forged in the steel mills and smelting plants of Northern Indiana where I spent my college summers.

I work in many mediums and allow the needs of a piece to define the medium. Lately, however, it is metal that fascinates me with it’s malleability, structural capabilities, durability, and surface textures. Using recycled iron for casting, scrap and reclaimed steel on welded pieces, and repurposed, salvaged building materials in my mixed media works, I strive to understand the inherent language in the history of these recycled items.

Recently a lot of combustible packing materials have found their way into my castings. The corpulent forms of air packaging seem an apt metaphor of our bloated, online consuming. This detritus of a society defines the culture with an unselfconscious clarity.

The work of the Surrealists and “primitive” art, as well as the questing spirit of Bruce Nauman, have been the greatest influence on my sculpture. In my work, I strive to discuss the internal and external struggles faced by an individual as they interact with and confront relationships and internal demons.

Generally I use images and forms which seem somewhat familiar to the viewer as an invitation for a dialogue with the piece. I like to re-contextualize common objects and their details.. By modifying these forms, I try to propose questions to encourage the viewer to reconsider a personal supposition by exposing its complexity and duality.

September 27, 2018

Nick Watson

November 7, 2018

Diane Kahlo