Feb 05 2021
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Mar 27 2021
Beyond Surface: Denise Buckley & Kathy Skerrit...

Beyond Surface: Denise Buckley & Kathy Skerrit...

Presented by Artists Archives of the Western Reserve at Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

On the surface, the work of Denise Buckley and Kathy Skerritt seems very different. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Buckley, a welder and figurative sculptor, and Skerritt, an abstract process painter, share a technical mastery, and the ability to show beyond what is seen. By pushing their materials to the limit, both artists unearth the inner essence of their subjects, and find meaning in themselves.

This February, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve is pleased to host Beyond Surface: Denise Buckley & Kathy Skerritt, an exhibition which welcomes the artists into the museum’s prestigious 10,000-piece collection of regional art.

In one sense, Kathy Skerritt’s paintings are all about the surface. Richly colored and highly textured, the work reflects an intimate knowledge of her media. In another truer sense, Skerritt’s work is about anything but the practice of painting. Her works are all things at once: biological, geological, and anatomical, metallic, and fluid.

As Skerritt explains, during a well-traveled youth, “I became deeply influenced by hours spent gazing at the Earth from airplanes. Viewing from above the river systems and lakes, mountain ranges, and desert stimulated my sense of the Earth as a living system.” Later, Skerritt’s studies of anatomy revealed visual correspondences between the planet and the human body, connections which are explored in much of her work.

“Combined with this observing of environmental patterns has been an investigation of what it is that is continuously being revealed from behind or under or within form,” says Skerritt. “To connect the viewer beyond the surface to the substance or process that underlies appearances, to approach a vision of that most fundamental Truth or source condition, [that] is my artistic intention.”

Sculptor Denise Buckley’s work also strips away the surface- both literally and figuratively. Known for her human forms which blend bronze, clay, and steel, Buckley’s sculptures appear as if they have been pulled from the ruins of an ancient temple.

“My history is reflected in my work, my relationships with people, the environment, and thoughts which all come together in the safety of the studio.” Buckley describes, there “I can push, pull, pound, form and distort materials into the human form, into my voice, into me….The work is personal yet speaks to universal themes of beauty, power, hardship, and compassion as defined by different cultures, both past and present.”

A highlight of the exhibition is a herd of six life-size metal deer set to graze across the gallery floor. Constructed using welded steel rods, these free-standing sculptures represent an exciting new exploration of the animal kingdom.

“Although, the physiognomy captures my attention, the materials I use bring the pieces to life,” Buckley explains. “I love the processes used in sculpture and I get lost in the visceral experience of those materials… No matter the process or technique, however, my approach to figurative sculpture is to capture the spirit.”

Featured Image: Denise Buckley, Ireland (Detail), Cast bronze, Collection of the AAWR

Admission Info

Exhibition and reception are free and open to the public

Dates & Times

2021/02/05 - 2021/03/27

Additional time info:

Beyond Surface: Denise Buckley & Kathy Skerritt will be celebrated with a virtual opening reception on Friday, February 5th at 7:00pm on Zoom. To attend, visit artistsarchives.org to register on Zoom

Location Info

Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

1834 East 123rd St, Cleveland, OH 44106