Sunday, April 12, 2009

willard stone - bwendo's silence and awe
sculpture isn't usually a form of art that leaves me speechless. the late willard stone is a cherokee whose sculptures in wood have created a series of happy silences - often while looking for words to aim at various friends along for a trip. the first stop was at the gilcrease and i think i was alone. the sculptures were in the middle of others but they grabbed me. dark reddish wood made into beautiful long and lean horizontal and vertical sculptures.
along the way i spotted a series from the 1940's reacting in a personal but political way to the first a-bomb and atomic power. the picture at the top is our atomic baby' in this pic from a 2002 gilcrease trip with my friend patann.
later i ventured to the official willard stone museum outside of locust grove with my friend gladys. it's actually the old stone home and studio where his sculptor son and family kept him alive in a real way.
last thursday may have been the nicest willard stone surprise of them all - and the reason to write today. i went to the gilcrease with my sometimes sculptor and potter friend calvin and there was a major exhibit devoted to stone's work and life: Willard Stone: Storyteller in Wood. thomas gilcrease was an early patron and the museum was the perfect place to put together a really complete exhibit. it included a large number of works which is a wonderful to really see and feel him.
it also included pictures and stories in his personal history. one surprise item - like django reinhardt he lost parts of his fingers on one hand and later converted the loss to part of his method.
the exhibit also created a dvd which i actually purchased which repeats his personal and gives you a chance to see the sculptures from all sides. as a commentator this is one of the things that is special about them - they are beautiful no matter which way you look at them.
from the exhibit and my net looking when i got home i found out more. one more happy surprise was that he was part of a white house exhibit during the clinton years and they linked him with that other love of mine [and tulsa's] - art deco.
for now i'm suffering html difficulty and can only promise to talk a bit more latter and to offer some links that i can't seem to get working now. but i do want to suggest you go to the exhibit if there's any way you can. the gilcrease is always special but this is one step up. i am available to go along and talk of not as you wish.


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