Feeling Lucky: Recent Sculpture by Karl Stirner
April 7–August 14 , 2005
Karl Stirner selects steel plate from the scrap yards of eastern Pennsylvania to create his "essentialist"
sculpture. His early influence came from his childhood obsession with the collection and study of natural objects. Later, he worked as
a blacksmith and metal-worker, producing ecclesiastic and hand-forged products. Stirner's sculpture has evolved also in response to many
non-sculptural and non-western sources. For over 30 years he has collected 20th century West African, Pre-Columbian, and Polynesian
sculpture and objects. By working and reworking appropriated elements, Stirner coaxes an austere beauty from obdurate metal and forges
a delicate balance of positive and negative volumes. His work thoroughly transforms ponderous material into substantial, at times luminous,
burnished forms that allude to the anthropomorphized body and body parts and to the functionality of oversized furniture or containers. More
recently, he has begun to incorporate photographic images into his constructions, as in Barbara's Room. This selection of recent sculpture is
Stirner's first solo museum presentation in New England.