Phyllis Rosser

Statement

Bellows Falls Wood Pile   Using wood stripped bare of it’s bark and washed smooth by the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls, Vermont, I construct dynamic forms that invite contemplation. I have been attracted to wood since childhood when I studied the shrunken grey wood fence posts and X-shaped gate that held the cows in the barnyard of my father’s farm. Although they were dried out and lifeless, I was drawn to the harmony of their grainy patterns. I saw in them the possibility of transcending a visually dull world.

As an adult, I began collecting dead wood on the beaches near my home. Finding its energy a surrogate for my emotions, I sometimes arrange the branches into bundles of particular feelings like solitude or anger. My work represents my struggle for sensuousness by transforming and revaluing a material which is often considered refuse into an object that is beautiful and alive. Coming from a religious background, I create pieces that become the focus of meditation. Wandering within the landscape of my wall-hung sculpture may be compared to the contemplation of a Buddhist Thangka.

Some sculptures appear highly formal in composition while others seem to have fallen into place by chance. The wood, honed to its essence, is assembled to create a subtle play of color in shades of rust, hazel, silver and charcoal to make evident the ravages of time. The wall-hung sculptures include graceful traceries and densely-layered compositions and range up to eight feet in width.

My work has been viewed in ten solo shows and a number of group shows in the New York area. It is represented in the collections of artists, curators and corporations including Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. Its intertwining pieces have been compared by New York Times critic Barry Schwabsky to “the muscular brush strokes of Abstract Expressionist painters like Joan Mitchell and Willem de Kooning.”.

 
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