|Poplar, Pine, painted pipe
|61”H x 37”W x 17”D
The inspiration for this piece was taken from a painting by Rico Lebrun done in 1945 during the WPA period in our nations history. The title of the painting was Vertical Composition. Lebrun took his inspiration for this expressionistic painting from his hikes in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he was impacted by the devastation of brush fires. He noted the debris that was left, such as charred and melted axles, wheels, and farm equipment.
I have tried to capture the essence of his painting in this free standing sculpture. As I maneuvered through the design and building of this piece, I frequently went back to the painting for reference. Taking artistic license, I added some elements and called upon items that were available to me in my studio.
The curved piece that is so prevalent in the middle, was actually a remnant of a table that I found in the back of a wood store in National City. The origin of the piece unknown. I engineered the wood to actually curve around the main structure to keep it from becoming front heavy. The base, and the top, were made from an actual tree trunk that was sliced like a piece of cake. I then cut out the center and attached wood spokes to give it stability. I took an artists approach rather then a furniture craftsman’s design.
After completing the initial sculpture, finishing it in a polyurethane resin, I then took a torch to the piece, giving it the rough look, closer resembling the painting. Not satisfied with the overall result, I then rough sanded some of the front, finally satisfied with the presentation. The piece will be a part of an Oceanside Museum of Art exhibit entitled WPA: Contemporary Interpretations (June 2023).
Vertical Composition by Rico Lebrun (1945)