Steve MacDonald; Steve MacDonald, Cuckoo Clocks & Power Lines; 6/2004
Leaves, detail, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread
Flowers, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread, 7" x 29"
Horizon, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread, 12" x 24"
Kite, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread, 12" x 17"
Small Cuckoo Clock, 2004, plywood, canvas, gesso, string, ballpoint pen, 8" x 14"
Cuckoo Clocks, 2004, plywood, canvas, gesso, string, ballpoint pen, dimensions variable
Power Lines, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread, 10.5" x 15"
Leaves, 2004, canvas, gesso, thread, 8" x 48"
These recent works from Steve MacDonald really need to be seen in person to be appreciated. This is generally true of the sort of artwork we show here at swipple, but in Steve's work the relationship between the hand and the idea is particularly acute. Steve has a real sharp eye for the visual image, but he always keeps himself firmly rooted in the physical world: the reality of simple materials and straightforward fabrication. Yet Steve's work is always more complex than it seems, and the 'lo-fi' feel of his techniques betray a sophistication that is sometimes surprising, and always charming. In the group of works featured here, Steve has used canvas, gesso, plywood, thread, and ballpoint pen to make cuckoo-clocks, landscapes, and abstract floral motif tapestry. Is there something significant these objects share, other than a common spirit of construction, or that they all fit into the box he sent me? I don't ask Steve these kinds of questions very often because he'll just look at me funny. A deeper connection seems obvious to me, but that's the way I think...