Gregory Corn & Alex Racine
Gregory Corn, Alex Racine: Gravity & Grace
January – February 2023
Happy New Year! Woodward Gallery springs into 2023 with a two-person, dynamic, three-dimensional exhibition by Sculptors, Gregory Corn and Alex Racine.
The human condition is modeled in metal, ceramic, and gravity. Corn’s three “dancers” spin in juxtaposition to their heavy medium and weightlessness. Racine’s expressive hands offer graceful gestures and cultural commentary.
Alex Racine’s ceramic sculptures employ the power of words and palmistry. The human palm has lines in it that represent language, so the artist naturally thought to sculpt words. The openings in his elegant hands encourage the viewer to also explore the inside, consider how hands articulate, and how we may interpret character from the lines and configurations of the palm of a person’s hand. Walkie-Talkie and Basic Instinct are after the human body. The fingers become a blend of leg and arm anatomy. Crossed fingers in Basic Instinct conjure the iconic cultural moment in the 1992 film of the same title.
For Racine, his Dog is reminiscent of youthful shadow puppets. Conversely, God is the mischievous, fun relationship with the shadow puppet and his play on its letters. Love is the hand gesture for sign language. Kindness is two hands joined creating one heart— especially relevant at this time when more kindness is needed. Incorporating a sixth finger as an optical illusion, Racine nods to early Warhol drawings, saying, “When I close my eyes, I feel like I have a 6th finger. I like that the sculpture becomes something and does something…it is like a third eye.”
Gregory Corn’s sculptures utilize metal, stone, and wire to harness the delicate balance between highly-dense materials and gravity. Tall, sturdy, steel structures are held together, masterfully, by smaller pieces. Heavy objects dangle from wires and gently sway. When knocked on, each piece also “sings” differently, as Corn describes. Corn’s three sister pieces, Yellow Dancer, Orange Dancer, and Red Dancer exemplify human behavior, symbolizing the complex inner mechanisms of bodies, minds, and spirits. Like real dancers, each of the three sculptures are physically sound —strong— and yet, incredibly graceful. The fourth piece, Marionette, resembles a puppet. A heavy mountain-shaped stone is held off the ground by a complex array of cable wires, latches, and steel bars. Large, red-detailed, rectangular beams act like bones for the larger sculpture. This balance, Gregory Corn explains, represents humanity, as, in his own words: “The weight we carry holds us together.”
Gregory Corn installing his sculptures at Woodward Gallery in early January 2023.