Figurative art has been represented in many ways over time. Figurative art in abstract is that of when the figure is derived from or another natural source. Sources focused on are line, shape, color, light and dark, mass, volume, texture and perspective. Even when using abstract elements, the focus of creating an impression or illusion of form and space necessary to emphasize the creative narrative is portrayed.
Two specific figurative artists in Sedona who use sculpture as their medium, include James Moore with the Gallery of Modern Masters, and Shray, showing at the Renee Taylor Gallery.
Moore’s work is recognizable, as his figures stand tall and are somewhat boxy. Moore welds his sculptures from car metal and each character represents its own display of emotion. For example, in Balancing Act III, the stainless-steel character is holding three sequentially larger balls, high over his head. The sculpture is welded with structural aluminum base, coated in automotive paint and UV resistant protective clear coat. The figure stands over seven feet tall (91 inches) and makes a great presence.
Moore has been sculpting for over thirty years. He grew up in a rural agricultural town in central California. Moore states that his exposure in working the land gave him a strong worth ethic and endless fascination with the idea of human possibility. Starting with wood carving, Moore eventually changed to work with metals and stainless steel. Moore likes to utilize the rules of figurative proportion and balance while working in the essence of gesture and movement.
Moore’s work can be found within the Gallery of Modern Masters, located at Hillside Sedona (671 State Route 179, Sedona, Arizona).
Another notable figurative sculptor is Renee Taylor Gallery’s Shray. Shray was introduced to figurative sculpting at age fifteen after visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris. So moved by the Greek work “Winged Victory” she decided to dedicate her life to sculpting. With formal training at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Shray had the opportunity to mentor with the likes of Italy’s Piero Mussi, founder of the international renowned Mussi Artworks Foundry of Berkley, CA. Shray intensively studied the work of Rodin in Paris and her simplicity of form has been compared to that of Henry Moore, Rodin and Brancusi.
Shray’s bronze sculptures employ the rare art of subtractionism. Subtractionists find the form in the clay as opposed to placing clay over armature. Shray states, “I see the emotion in the form, the hard lines, the curves, and allow them to carry the human condition through and around the negative and positive spaces. I am concerned with the fine line between the individual and humanity and how to achieve this without succumbing to sentimentality. This is one of the great puzzles figurative sculptors face. My approach is to let the form carry the emotion.”
An intuitive artist, Shray’s sculptures never appear labored or forced. “While I work, I am able to see geometrically while recognizing a sense of humanity while pushing towards abstraction.”
In Shray’s bronze sculpture ‘Balance’, the bodies of two people embrace, melding into one. The work appears as if it naturally formed from the earth’s elements into the figures. This piece is 28" x 8" x 8" in size, and is a must see when in Sedona.
For more information about galleries and artists within the Sedona Gallery Association, visit our Gallery page.
Sedona Gallery Association