Malcolm Wright

In my college years I was interested in the roots of modernism, from the development of cubism, constructivism and futurism to Scandinavian design, and the time/space elements in architecture. These interests were interrupted for 30 years by my deep involvement with Japan, functional pottery for food and flowers and in the ascetic, restrained taste of tea ceremony pottery.

Over the last 20 years my early interest has reawakened. Walking around the fields among Chuck Ginnivers’s monumental sculptures, here in Vermont, inspired me to revisit these interests. Slowly, I became aware of the power of minimalism as expressed in Tony Smith’s work. More recently, the work of Jorge Oteiza and the foam sculptures of John Chamberlin have inspired me.

The bronze sculpture project started in 2007 when my friend Jay Lindsay, of Carmel NY, wrote me that he had bought 800 pounds of bronze ingot. I knew immediately what to do with some of that ingot. As early as 2001 I made some small maquettes of clay sculptures that would translate readily to larger bronze forms. I have kept those forms for future reference, and with Jay's significant help, ten of these forms have been cast in bronze. Some have been enlarged to a scale of from 15 to 26 inches. Some have been cast in the original scale of five to eight inches.

So why am I interested in bronze? When I began working in clay sculpture, the first pieces were glazed and rather shiny. I was then drawn to working with the dark, porous- appearing, rather dry, wood-fired brick clay. The bronze surface is somewhere in between, cool and hard, but not reflective.

Bronze carries a feeling of permanence. When I arrive at a form that, to my eye, appears mature, I have a desire to see it realized in bronze. Bronze leads to the possibility of small editions, and varied surface treatments. Color is variable and controllable. Finally and most important, the visual hardness of the material works for my forms.

I am interested in the source of an idea, and how one idea can be developed in two directions at once, both in a soft rounded form and in an angular geometric form, both carrying the same thrust of the original thought.

Malcolm Wright