Saturday, March 29, 2008
When I first moved to Jacksonville, a million years ago, I was appalled at what I thought was worse than a dearth of art and culture, a void of art and culture. Those things weren't missed here because they never had been known here. Or so I arrogantly thought.
Then one of the first artists I became aware of was David Engdahl. An architect by trade, Engdahl builds sculptures with the most archaic of tools, resulting in works that are by turns sublime, straightforward, and somewhat redolent of the ’70s.
Engdahl’s work is the natural outcome of the ideology prevalent in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, that is sometimes hard to see built renditions of in an atmosphere that increasingly finds itself bound by code and regulation. Not to mention the arrival of the McMansion…
With his work, Engdahl is able to explore those forms that once seemed to herald the arrival of a new way of thinking about living…a thought process (I believe anyway) that is shared by architects Bob Broward, Bill Morgan, and Taylor Hardwick. Forms that mirror nature and are designed to work with the land, not to struggle against it.
In his studio, Engdahl’s tools, covered with a fine silt of sawdust sit as unprepossessing witnesses to his quiet process. A process that involves a monk’s portion of patience, and the willingness to distill forms to their most basic parts. In his most successful works, a simple form that references nature and logic in equal parts engages that part of the viewer’s mind that delights in the slope of a leaf, the sway of a boat’s hull, or the curled horns of a bighorn sheep.
So I was utterly delighted when an invitation to Engdahl’s April 11 show, “David Engdahl Sculpture,” arrived in today’s mail. The show, at the Ponte Vedra Cultural Center, opens on April 11, 6:30-8:00 p.m. I plan on going and taking in some tangible quiet.
Ponte Vedra Cultural Center, 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra, 280-0614.