Roberley Bell  
 
       

the shape of the afternoon

Mixed media sculpture installation
May 16 - October 6, 2014

Roberley Bell has transformed The Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Roof Terrace into a colorful sculpture garden where nature and its synthetic representation comingle. By incorporating bird decoys, Astroturf, benches, flowering trees, and resin Blob sculptures in her installation, Bell invites a questioning of the "natural" in our everyday environment. In her sumptuously colored Blobs on display at deCordova, the forms have absorbed their subjects. The Blobs are slick, hybrid forms that alternatively feature an outgrowth of colorful lines and in others totems of abstracted birds. To create these blob-ular sculptures, The resulting polished veneers of the Blob sculptures highlight their obvious artificiality in contrast to more natural tree stump bases. This sharp juxtaposition, in addition to their titles: For HM, for now (an homage to Henry Moore), positions them in an art historical dialogue with early twentieth century sculptors like Barbara Hepworth, Jean Arp, and Henry Moore known for their biomorphically abstract sculptures inspired by living organisms. In the wake of World War I, Hepworth, Arp, and Moore found expressive potential in the simplicity of natural forms. Decades later, artists like John McCracken and Craig Kauffman brought the sexy slickness of car paint and surf wax emblematic of West Coast living to bear on minimal forms. Bell's lustrous Blobs combine the interiority of psychologically charged biomorphism with the exteriority of the candied shells of 1970s "finish fetish" California sculpture.

Assistant Curator Lexi Lee Sullivan
deCordova museum and Sculpture park

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       © 2016 Roberley Bell