Magazine article Sculpture

The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination

Magazine article Sculpture

The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh

Ed Parrish, Jr.

Iron, written in the stars, holds the earth together deep within its core. It glides through the bloodstream, lustrous, magnetic, essential to existence. In Ed Parrish, Jr.'s hands, this elemental metal seems palpably alive. His sculptures embody iron's molten volatility, cooled into austere, meditative forms that describe a dynamic cosmos while creating moments of revelatory quiet. Assemblage, iron casting, and painting merge in works that appear otherworldly-as if from a place of mysterious possibilities-yet feel intimate, full of familiar, sensual elements.

Parrish's patterns for sand molds arise from intense engagement with found materials and open a lucid discourse between them. Elegant designs balance tender clumsiness and startling gracefulness, echoing the nature of everyday experience. Through iron casting, evanescence transforms into indestructible strength. The airy matrices of bubble wrap resemble tiny, transfixed lava flows, turned impossibly heavy. The finely linked, radial lines of cast doilies recall intertwined threads of remembrance stretching from childhood. Parrish hand-paints the cast metal, heightening the original hues of his materials and enhancing phantom forms with the afterglow of memory. Variegated surfaces mirror the world's pallor and brightness, forging shimmering, substantial color fields within mesmerizing compositions. With rough-not just smooth-flashes of tint, texture, and gesture, the works express mysteries of underlying structures and halfglimpsed realities. …

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