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26 Mar 2020

Dean Pulver: Elemental Resonance

Harwood Museum of Art

Reviewed by Kathleen C. Stone

Craft and art might be considered different things, but in his current sculpture Dean Pulver fuses the two. His art is abstract, with oblique references to the natural world. Using curved, tapered and spiraled wood, Pulver evokes animals, or parts of them, that may be real or imagined: the ribcage of a dinosaur, a chambered nautilus, the spine of a dolphin, or an extraordinarily tall human. White Spiral (2017), for instance, suggests some ancient species, its whorling, articulated joints preserved as fossil. Because the allusion is subtle, viewers are free to imagine a being that once lived, or simply appreciate the complicated, graceful shape.

Pulver works in mahogany, cherry, maple, basswood, and walnut, sometimes enhancing the wood with paint, copper, or rust. On some pieces, pencil marks remain, indicating the intricate mathematical calculations required to make wood behave as it does in his hands.

For years he has built fine furniture and cabinetry. Now he's making art that would be impossible without craftsmanship like his.

Exhibition Dean Pulver: Elemental Resonance link
Start date 13 Dec 2019
End date 17 May 2020
Presenter Harwood Museum of Art link
Venue 238 Ledoux Street, Taos, NM, USA map
Image Dean Pulver, "White Spiral," 2017, basswood with milk paint and mahogany, 31 x 45 x 15 inches, collection of the artist

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