Anything You Want: A Study in (Un)form

Viewing the work of Jacob Burmood is like stepping around a corner in the home you left years ago. With heightened senses, every footstep inspires a faint memory, and seemingly unrelated thoughts are connected by a stroke against a wall or the imagined fragrance of dinner wafting down the hall. It is not a nostalgic experience, but rather, one that simultaneously kindles a certain freshness and familiarity. Although his work is reminiscent of a stripped-down Ken Price sculpture, Burmood’s style is unique, and the the emotional cognizance that his work evokes invites one in, without judgment, to wander.

In his current exhibition at PS Gallery, Burmood’s sculptures are edens of curiosities. Luminescent hues of glaucous and steely grays seem to move without moving around curves and through negative spaces. Without a narrative that ties the pieces together, Burmood’s organic style instinctively strengthens the trio, and simply viewing the collection is a sensuous experience. What you see is something you may have experienced before, but not in this medium. Instead, you might think of a looming arch you walked under or the warm radiance of an intimate moment.

Using his own method of “drawing out loud,” Burmood sketches lines directly on clay until he finds a form he likes. The final works are the result of a finely-tuned, mostly unplanned style that turns the chaos of raw material into inscrutable yet cohesive works that resemble anything you want them to.

Burmood’s sculptures are best described in contrary terms: positive and negative; lines and curves; organic and architectural. Although the work currently on display clearly draws from the human form (a long and twisting figure tornadoes skyward to shape the well-manicured nail of a pointer finger), Burmood’s next collection is not unlike that of a Frank Gehry sketch. It is an exhibit with slightly more foresight but not lacking in spontaneity and an appreciative exploration of the natural.

– Sarah Handelman


1 Response to “Anything You Want: A Study in (Un)form”

  1. 1 Elaine
    March 13, 2010 at 4:19 am

    “Edens of curiosities”– lovely post!

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