Magazine article Sculpture

Edinburg, Texas

Magazine article Sculpture

Edinburg, Texas

Article excerpt

Susan Fitzsimmons

Dorothy Charles Clark Gallery

"Sentinels and Guardians," an exhibition of bronze sculptures by Susan Fitzsimmons at the Clark Gallery of the University of Texas in Edinburg (where Fitzsimmons is a professor and chair of the art department), presented an engaging paradox. Bronze casting is a highly skilled as well as physically demanding discipline and requires careful planning. Traditionally, hot molten bronze is poured into a wax-filled mold, then packed in sand as it cools and solidifies. In the process, the wax is burned out, revealing the form. Fitzsimmons's bronzes, however, are not planned; they are the almost accidental result of a number of castings (sometimes as many as six for a single piece). In place of the traditional wax, she uses cast-off materials such as cardboard. As the cardboard is burned out, the remaining bronze takes on an appearance of almost lace-like delicacy.

In the pole-like form of Warrior Ancestor, spikes of various lengths and widths sticking out along its entire height warn the viewer that this "ancestor" could cause harm despite its delicate appearance. Many of the sculptures featured in this exhibition are narrow poles that stand gracefully and mysteriously like sentinels and guardians. …

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