Roberto Bertoia: Reflections 2020

Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together displayed on white pedestals.
William Staffeld / AAP
Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together displayed on white pedestals.
William Staffeld / AAP
Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together displayed on white pedestals.
William Staffeld / AAP
Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together displayed on a white pedestal.
William Staffeld / AAP
Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together displayed on a white pedestal.
William Staffeld / AAP
Abstract wooden sculpture piece with various sized rectangular pieces put together.
Visitor (2020) wood, 62". photo / provided
William Staffeld / AAP William Staffeld / AAP William Staffeld / AAP William Staffeld / AAP William Staffeld / AAP Visitor (2020) wood, 62". photo / provided

The work in this exhibition was completed between March and December 2020. It coincided with the increasing disruption of society at many levels. A surprising and welcome development for me was the opportunity to reassess and focus on a number of works that had been "waiting" to be resolved.

Ideas of enclosure, isolation, separation, privacy are among the ideas involved in the work. The majority of works were initiated in the few years before Covid. Most were less than 25% completed and some had been barely begun by March. Whereas the beginning of a piece is always rather exciting and fun the time had come to focus on resolving them. The required isolation led to a shift in approach which led to an unexpected period of productivity.

This exhibit involves a representative group of a larger group of finished works. Virtually all the material (mostly various woods – walnut, cherry, mahogany, etc.) is repurposed and/or salvaged, often coming from packing crates, pallets, and discarded pieces. The initial "random" combination of elements set up a condition to allow me to engage in a "conversation" with each piece. Working only with hand tools led to unique challenges to reach a resolution.

The significant change in the world at all levels, particularly the natural world, allowed some ideas around the periphery of my thinking to enter the process. The work exists at an intersection of sculpture, design, and the built vs. the natural environment. These materials and processes connect me to history and the present.

–Roberto Bertoia, Associate Professor of Art

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