Working with clay, Danville Chadbourne makes tall, pillar-like sculptural forms that recall ancient dolmens and standing stones that were placed as celestial markers to measure the shadows through the year that change with the seasons. Using the wood of chinaberry trees that grow next to his live/work studio in Beacon Hill, he constructs pieces ringed with colored bands that were inspired in part, he says, by a journey through Yucatan in Southern Mexico when, walking through dense jungle, his party was guided by trees marked with bright painted stripes, tied bits of fabric, or hanging metal cans. Placed above the dense brush, they indicated the next turning point on a path that was lightly traveleds and overgrown.
The tops of his clay markers branch out in knobby fashion, a mineral reflection of the branching chinaberry branches that are also fashioned into shapes that seem animal, perhaps human. Wood or clay, his tall works are not overbearing in scale. Not made to celebrate a city plaza, they are human scale, better placed within a garden, yard, or small copse of trees than a main square. Yet, you may have seen them around town, and not only in spaces dedicated to artworks; one tall piece is sited within a small park, more like a tree-filled median, that sits within the convergence of three streets on lower Fredericksburg Road.
This Thursday at Haussmann Millworks, Chadbourne release new works made over the last year. A studio visit revealed a huge enterprise underway, including many clay pieces, and new, smaller works in wood that seem more manipulated, rather than chosen, than some of his more memorable past wood pieces. Also on view will be other lines of sculpture that have matured in the over 70 exhibitions he has staged in his career, like the small, box-like wood pieces that are not containers or mere decorative pieces, but similar to the tall works, yet more psychic markers to aid in a journey yet to be determined.
6pm-9pm March 7 and by appointment after
925 W Russell
Through March 31