Wood Sculpture in Northern California- Summer 2007
James Prestini, Platter
James Prestini- 1908-1993
A sculptor, designer and teacher, James Prestini is renowned
for his beautifully elegant turned wood objects that he created in the
thirties and forties. These elegant works were thin walled vessels that
were fine art that gave the appearance of having practical use.
As a teacher at UC Berkeley, James Prestini taught generations
of architecture and city planning students throughout his thirty years
of tenure. Prestini was born in 1908 in Waterford, Connecticut, and
Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale in 1930.
Already steeped in art and industrial design,
he continued his studies at the University of Stockholm and
eventually landed a teaching job at the acclaimed Institute of Design
(known in art circles as the I.D.) in Chicago in the 1940's.
After several other teaching stints in the United States,
Prestini went to Italy to study sculpture for three years. It was from
Italy that Wurster summoned him to teach at Berkeley.
James Prestini was honored by many awards and prizes. He is best
known as the father of wood turning art, and his wood pieces are
extremely rare and sought after. They appear in many major collection,
including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian
JB Blunk- 1926-2003
JB Blunk is closely associated with the group of Northern California
artists influenced by surrealist Gordon Onslow Ford. Introduced to Isamu
Noguchi while in Japan, Blunk became good friends with Noguchi and
later other artists Jean Tinguely and Lee Mullican. J.B. Blunk studied
ceramics and then turned to sculpture after moving to Inverness in
Northern California. Drawing from Eastern influences, is sculptures
often straddle the line between functional and natural inspiration.
Because of his exquisite craftsmanship in wood working, he is often
compared to other California artists Arthur Espenet, Sam Maloof, and
Selected Collections- Leonard Park, New York; San Francisco
Museum of Art; Oakland Museum; University of California, Santa Cruz;
Arthur Espenet- 1920-2006
The woodwork of Espenet is notable for its stress on functionalism
and its strong emphasis on visual grace. Espenet's work has been shown
in leading museums and universities throughout the country.
Excerpted from Objects USA
Arthur Espenet Carpenter
Jeremy Anderson- 1921- 1962
He was described by critic Thomas Albright as one of the two
"Founding Fathers" of San Francisco Bay Area sculpture. In Jeremy
Anderson's work can be found eccentric references to totems, altars,
ritualistic figures, and sometimes elements of weaponary and sexuality.
And the roots of the Bay Area Funk Movement can be arguably traced
traced to his influence as well.
Studied at the School of Fine Arts, 1946-1950; Help found
Metarts Gallery, 1949; Taught Sculpture, California School of Fine Arts,
1951; Taught at University of California, Berkeley 1955-1956; Taught
sculpture, University of California, Davis 1974-1975
Selected Solo Exhibitions: Metarts Gallery, San Francisco,1949;
Stable Gallery, New York 1954; Dilexi Gallery, San Francisco 1960, 1961,
1962, 1964, 1966; Berkeley Gallery, Berkeley California 1963; San
Francisco Museum of Art, 1966; Quay Gallery, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1979;
Univerysity of California, Davis 1975, 1984; Museum of Contemporary
Design, Chicago 1975; Monterey Pennisula Museum of Art 1995, Oakland
Museum of Art 1995
Richard Faralla- 1916-1996
Attended CSFA (F.F.A. in 1955) and San Francisco State College 1956.
Previously a painter, he turned in 1959 to sculptures and reliefs
assembled from small scraps of wood, which he generally painted black or
white; like the wood sculptures of Louise Nevelson, they were built
around an essentially Cubist formal vocabulary, animated by a Byzantine
intricacy of surface pattern and richness of texture. His earliest works
were mosaics made of geometric bits of wood gathered from construction
sites. In the early 1960's he began to use driftwood and his
constructions became more organic.