A Sense of Balance

The sculpture of Stoney Lamar

Los Angelenos and visitors to the area will have the privilege to view Stoney Lamar’s multi-axial lathe wood sculpture in the retrospective, A Sense of Balance: The Sculpture of Stoney Lamar at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. The exhibit will open May 17 and run through August 24, 2014.

The North-Carolina-based Lamar began sculpting wood over 25 years ago and it happened by accident. His ambition was to make furniture with his future wife after he graduated from Appalachian State University. But life took several turns, and it wasn’t until he borrowed a friend’s lathe that he attempted woodturning. 

Shapes and textures are inspired by the different woods he works with. His early works were medium-scaled objects that have holes, rough edges, plus the turning marks of the lathe. Lamar's recent work has increased both in length and height, and he has incorporated steel elements that serve to activate the kinetic quality of the work, but also has used paint--derived from milk and lime--to add earth tones that highlight the texture of the wood. 

Lamar says of his sculptures, “The development and use of multiple axis techniques as a way of applying texture or sculpting asymmetrical forms on the lathe has allowed me to transcend the round object and to create a sense of image and movement that is suggestive of what I see while the object is being formed on the lathe. A multiple axis approach has also allowed me to draw from a wider range of influences and to develop a more personal imagery and narrative.”

Lamar has integrated the loss of motion into his work after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009. Following the tremors in his hand, the sculptor uses a chainsaw to create incisions and lines in such works as “Helix.” The trembling that comes with the disease has resulted in work that Matthew G. Herbert, Assistant Professor of Furniture and Woodworking at San Diego tate University calls, “the universal tension between control and freedom.”

A reception will be held on Saturday, May 17th from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm, preceded by a conversation with the artist and CAFM curator Andrew Glasgow at 6:30 pm until 7:00 pm. 

For more information about Stoney Lamar, please visit stoneylamar.com. For CAFM address and hours and admission, please visit cafam.org.

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