Heavy

November 11, 2022

February 12, 2023

The seven sculptures on view in our second-floor gallery are some of the heaviest pieces in the Sioux City Art Center’s collection. They were made with either bronze, galvanized steel or stainless steel. There are many reasons why artists use these materials for sculptures, as well as civic statues and public memorials: they are extremely durable and able to withstand years of exposure to rain, snow, winter wind, and blazing summer heat. Not only are they hard to move but heavy sculptures emphasize a sense of permanence and the weight of the artist’s intended meaning.

Kirk Hoefling’s A Creature of Circumstance looks like it should be the head of a much large sculpture. Brought down to our level so that we can look into its eyes, it is both a comical caricature and a slightly frightening portrait. Jeff Baldus’s Second Self is an identical pair of cast tree bark segments The mirrored human-scale forms embrace and separate as you walk around them. Ann Royer’s bronze sculptures are a two-part exploration of the horse as a literary character and a figure study. Don Quixote is a beautifully abstract depiction of the famous windmill chaser, similar in style to Pablo Picasso. Royer’s second sculpture, Condemarr, is a more realistic figure study of a horse moving through space. It’s fun to see how some of the artists assembled their work. For example, look at how Will Vannerson’s galvanized steel segments are seamed together, creating gradually tapered veins and arteries that connect to the central drum. Steve Elliott’s Arc No. 3 is assembled, bent, and perforated with a highly refined, almost mechanical, precision. John Himmelfarb, on the other hand, sticks bit of scrap metal together quickly and crudely. Bend in the Road is a construction held together with gloopy welds that look like hot dog mustard.