• stone’s throw, 2010-2011

    In the fall of 2008, a month or so after my grandmother passed away, I visited her sculpture studio and brought home several stones she had started to carve but never finished. These unfinished stones resonated with me particularly because they were “in process” and unresolved – hovering in a state between nature and sculpture. I also found a small piece of paper upon which she had written a quote by Henry Moore. While I tentatively approached the use of the stones in my own work in early 2009, it wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that I was able to work in deeper conversation with them, returning for the first time in nearly 20 years to the idea of making work based on observing things in the manner of making a still life. Of course, I was not interested in making a still life as much as I wanted to allow the stones to challenge my process.

     As the conversation began, the stones suggested a number of reference points (some obvious and some less so): the hermetic and intimately personal nature of Jasper Johns’ Four Seasons paintings (as well as the similarity of his hatch marks to my grandmother’s chiseling), chinese scholar rocks, a small display of crystals and stones I pondered many years ago on a desk in Goethe’s house in Weimar, Christian Wolff’s score “Stones” which I have carried in my wallet for years, Milan Knizak’s stone circles, early films of Dennis Oppenhiem of his hands, Gary Beydler’s film “Hand Held Day”, Markus Lupertz 80’s sculptures of Alice in Wonderland, Jackson Pollocks awkward 1953 painting “Portrait and a Dream” – and most importantly the way certain analog activities and materials – hands, stones, paper, pencils, paint, celluloid film, drawing, wrapping, rubbing, etc. – seem to relate more to a history of ritual, than to contemporary art (I’m talking about on the inside, not the outside).

     As I began these activities, the stones were, at times, combined with scores fueled by the vowel structure and musical note structure (a-g) of the Henry Moore quote. Eventually, the stones were able to disrupt the way I had become accustomed to making things, creating a situation of discomfort, awkwardness and unfamiliarity. In truth, this was all I had been asking of them – to converse with a group of deeply personal, yet unfamiliar, objects, so they might push me ever so slightly towards new ways of thinking and making…

     Exhibition: Stone’s Throw, March 2011, Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects, Los Angeles

  • stone's throw (paintings)

  • stone's throw (drawings)

  • stone's throw (sculpture)

  • distance piece (striations)

    sound installation
    sculpture center
    long island, ny

  • striations

    solo project
    susanne vielmetter gallery
    los angeles


  • addendum 1