Sculptor presents lecture and art

BY EVAN CLARK | JANUARY 27, 2011 7:10 AM

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For acclaimed artist Richard Rezac, sculpting his artistic “intentions” never seems to happen intentionally.

“I’m essentially a sculptor, but that definition is not exclusive for my art,” he said. “My work is abstract. Essentially, the ideas that I begin with are a result of working it out on paper by drawing certain possibilities. Once I’m done with that, I finally start creating the sculpture, and in the end, most of my work remains abstract, operating through suggestion more than illustration or presentation.”

Rezac will dive into greater detail on his artwork and career during a free lecture sponsored by the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History at 7 p.m. today in 101 Biology Building East.

Admission is free.

Following his lecture, his work will be featured in a monthlong exhibit at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St.

Rezac has been sculpting what he describes as “geometric form” three-dimensional objects for more than 20 years. He’s had exhibits all over the world and has been awarded many prizes, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Rome Prize Fellowship awards. He is a professor at the School of Art Institute in Chicago, where he teaches in the sculpting and painting departments.

When discussing his artwork, he finds that it’s best to view his sculptures with an open mind.

“I think one could say that artwork made by hands, no matter what the image, there’s always some element of suggestion or open to interpretation,” he said. “The works I make are often based on geometry, and they begin to resemble real things found in nature. There’s a possibility people may look at my work and see something they’ve already experienced, but it’s not a realistic version of something. It’s more of a dynamic tool or a simplified form that I make by hand that contains elements of composition.”

University of Iowa junior and art-history minor Josh Seiler is not only an admirer of Rezac’s abstract sculpting, he sees distinct patterns in his work that Seiler has tried to reflect in his own work.

“He uses a lot of geometric shapes and designs in his work that provides a more rational and concrete view of his exhibits,” Seiler said. “His artwork may seem abstract to people, but I feel his use of geometrical artwork is more rational and logical than it gets credit for.”

No matter how people perceive his work, Rezac believes art goes beyond any interpretation and is more of a bridge connecting audiences with an extensive look at the mind behind the artist.

“I think art offers an insight to an artists’ kind of focus on whatever their chosen subject to display is,” he said. “Visual and physical art is the access to someone’s vision and concentrated focus, but I think it can be said that the longer someone does this thing in general, as I have, the deeper it gets into his personal views.”

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