Amarillo

by Harry Abrams

When I started out as an artist, the abstract expressionists were very important, and my art reflected that. But at a certain point I felt I couldn’t go anywhere without representation. I reached a place where I felt I had gone as far as I could with steel in the abstract. Then these characters and objects started coming into my head. And I said, “Hey Stoltz, you’re nuts.

A spectacular, room-size construction by David Stoltz (American), a kind of sculptural painting that sets hundreds of bent and squiggly rods and wires, in all sizes and colors, disporting in a white environment.

You make a star; who the hell makes a star. You’re a thirty-eight-year-old man doing a star, little eggs, premortal little monsters; what are those things?” Who knows! What are they? I don’t know. I do know that they are sculptural and three-dimensional forms. I like to think if I made one I could make a thousand or a hundred thousand. These characters just seem to rattle around in my head; they’re sitting up there. They are wonderful little creatures, they’re friends. I don’t know who they are, I can’t shake their hands, but they’re friends.

I think they have a life of their own, but that I’m very much in control of them. I hope I am. I never thought of them taking over my life. Sometimes when I go to sleep after working ten hours, instead of counting sheep count little eggs jumping. Or maybe I’ll dream about myself in these rooms with a million squiggles everywhere. It gets it bit obsessive; you cant help that. If one of them walked off and hit somebody in the head I’d be responsible and it would greatly affect my life. But I wouldn’t like to think that one of my characters could do that.

The steel is bent into shapes that repeat themselves over and over again with an effect of linear energy pressed back within it-self and yet breaking out in every direction at once.

Seeing this piece, I keep thinking I could have made it a little stronger, but one always has to feel that way. I have an idea for some figures that come right out of the wall, but that’s for the next show. If I ever lose the sense of growth, I might as well stop being an artist and a human being. God knows, I don’t want that to happen. You should be human first, an artist second. If I’m a human being first, the artist will follow. You can’t do it the other way around; it would all fall apart.

Utica

by Grace Glueci

The leitmotif of David Stoltz’s cheery show is a Martian-style creature, a humanoid whose spiderlike body, sometimes sprouting a spirally antenna from its middle, is supported on a pair of jivey little legs stuck in podlike feet.

The sculptures come across not as inert structures, but as strong-willed and inventive rivals for the space in which we expect to have sole rights of occupancy.

The creature, in welded steel, comes in various sizes, and often enough stands by it on one foot or two, like a regular of sculpture, in one case even angling off the wall. But it also distorts in a few other contexts: drawings in color, for one, with the kitschy flavor of comic strips; and in staid black and white.

Cloned, in one black and white series, the creature swarms with its fellows like a flock of musical notes. Then, in a burst of exuberance, the artist has created two huge environments. In a separate, all-white room, a myriad of bent and squiggly rods and wires, in all sizes and colors, adorn the wall and sit on the floor, attended by smaller, playful elements in solid colors and immense – and quite spectacular – drawing in space.

And on three walls of the main gallery, the humanoids, painted flat and in 3-D, jazz their way through a light scattering of bright, colorful bits and pieces also affixed – or painted on – the wall. It’s all very tuneful. One could almost hum this show.