Thursday, June 14, 2012

Free Form

by Drew Martin
Three of Bill Bollinger's raw, cast-iron sculptures were recently on display at Algus Greenspon in the West Village. Another venue for his retrospective is the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, which is showing his work until the end of July. The Greenspon show of Bollinger's work, entitled Aluminum channel, cast iron, paper: 1966-1977, had a variety of his work but the cast-iron pieces dominated the space. They are solid, free-form works, which he made in reaction to the emptiness of conceptual art as well as to large-scale bronze sculptures that assume mass but are actually thin, empty shells. Art holds the process of its creation and what is reiterated by this work is the red-hot pouring of molten iron into loose sand molds, the long cooling period and the final tilt-up grunt of the artist to see what he has formed. They are deliberate and accidental, with a feeling of experimentation. There is a sense of pre-purpose, like they are the work of early humans refining methods that will evolutionarily lead to a terra-dynamic plow, a battle sword, a structural steel beam, a chassis of a car, or envisioned sculpture that will conjure these thoughts.