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David Borgerding Recent Sculpture
October 7, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
There is a unique pleasure in beholding something so awe-inspiring, we cannot begin to comprehend it—something outside the purview of knowledge and science that verges into the realm of mystery. David Borgerding’s welded-bronze sculptures transport viewers into zones where the laws of physics no longer apply, where abstract forms seem to float above their pedestals and balance in ways that defy explanation, even as they baffle and delight. In his seventh solo exhibition at Callan Contemporary, Borgerding debuts a suite of welded-bronze sculptures, which elicit a sense of wonder and fascination. His signature style deploys enigmatic shapes in sweeping, elongated lines and curves, heightened contrasts between vertical and horizontal, and dramatic cantilevers whose torque and tension resolve into sophisticated visual harmonies, communicating buoyancy and freedom. The compositions are not inspired by objects in the natural world, but by what the late English critic Clive Bell called “significant forms,” which conjure “aesthetic emotions” springing from imagination and the collective unconscious.
Borgerding received his B.F.A. degree at Kendall College of Art and Design and his M.F.A. at Savannah College of Art & Design. Based in New Orleans since 2000, he has earned prestigious grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and critical raves from publications such as ARTnews and Sculptural Pursuit. His work is included in prestigious private, corporate, and institutional collections in North America, Europe, and Asia. Recently, in a major commission for Regent, Oceania, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, he created a series of sculptures for inclusion in the companies’ corporate art collections. Other commissions include Volpang, a large-scale sculpture in the New Orleans Central Business District, commissioned by the Helis Foundation; the 23-foot-tall Pangatam, commissioned by philanthropist Thomas B. Coleman; and, for a private sculpture garden in New Orleans, AESHAW, which, at 10 feet tall and 24.5 feet long, is his largest piece to date.
Borgerding has a strong and abiding passion for innovation and a commitment to pushing materials to their limits. His creative process begins with drawings and maquettes, then progresses to sheets of hollow-formed and welded bronze. Patinas and randomized linear textures scatter light and impart a subtle iridescence as viewers move around the piece. Connective joints and fasteners are hidden inside the forms, concealing the mechanisms that keep the compositions in perfect balance. “The posturing of the shapes and forms,” he observes, “how they flow together, interact, and attach, the way they sometimes almost levitate off their bases—that’s always in my thoughts: making the impossible seem possible.” – Richard Speer