Callan Contemporary is pleased to present its fifth solo exhibition of critically acclaimed sculptor David Borgerding. In his dramatic and elegant welded-bronze sculptures, Borgerding draws from a personal vocabulary of visually and psychologically resonant forms, which speak directly to viewers’ emotional responsiveness. The sculptures begin their time- and labor-intensive journey from concept to completion as drawings, which the artist translates first into cardboard maquettes, and then welds hollow-formed sheets of bronze, often balanced on extraordinarily fine support points— pinpoint fulcrums from which forms appear to rise or expand in defiance of the laws of physics. As a final touch, he adds richly nuanced patinas and randomized linear textures, which engage with light and activate the surface.
The recipient of two grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Borgerding earned a B.F.A. degree at Kendall College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. from Savannah College of Art & Design. He has been based in New Orleans since 2000. Enthusiastically received in published reviews and well-regarded by arts professionals, his work has been acquired into important collections throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, including a recent commission in Shenzhen, China. He possesses a remarkable fluency across a range of scales, composing with equal ease an intimate tabletop piece or a monumental work such as the 18-foot-tall Volpang, commissioned by the Helis Foundation, and the 23-foot-tallPangatam, commissioned by philanthropist Thomas B. Coleman.
Conceived as pure abstraction, the sculptures bypass the rational faculty and appeal to what theorist Clive Bell called “aesthetic emotion.” Organic but far from earthbound, they appear to hover above their bases, their buoyancy communicating optimism, their torque and tension resolving into movement and freedom. Always pushing the boundaries of materials and technique, Borgerding has had a career-long fascination with “the beauty and mysteriousness of how abstract compositions can work to excite the heart and stir the soul. It’s an ideal I’m always striving for in my work.”
Coinciding with the exhibition, Callan Contemporary is releasing a 190-page book tracing the development of Borgerding’s career. As Borislava and Steven Callan write in the book’s foreword, “David’s tireless work ethic, eye for precision, and sharpened spatial awareness support his drive to explore the endless possibilities of abstraction...The engineering and attention to detail required to bring about the sculptures’ fluidity, balance, and seeming effortlessness never fail to arouse a sense of wonder and joy.”