American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. to Present Contemporary Sculptures by Squire Broel Art installation offers visual counterpoint to frenetic, fragmented existence.
WALLA WALLA,WA: A series of contemporary sculptures by Squire Broel will be installed for public viewing in the Sylvia Berlin Katzen Sculpture Garden at the American University Museum, Washington, D.C. from April 6th through August 11th, 2019.
A selection of Broel’s life-sized to monumentally-sized totemic bronze sculptures creates space for reflection and contemplation about what it means to be engaged as an individual within community and interact intentionally with the natural world. In his series of vertically oriented structures, Broel references tangible and intangible notions that resonate universally: botanical and architectural structures, environmental rhythms, physical and emotional solitude.
“The sculptures echo familiar forms found in nature, modernist design, primitive utilitarian objects and art historical traditions. The shapes appear straightforward, yet the surfaces are nuanced and the orientations are subtly articulated – much like each of our individual lives,” noted Squire Broel. Intentional abstraction creates a generous context for engaging with the sculptures. Allusions to historical references create a sense of timelessness and familiarity, yet the pieces exist outside the rapidly shifting visual language of stylized contemporary aesthetics.
This unique sculptural installation exposes viewers to aspects of the American rural West’s untamed spirit, vast rugged landscapes, and traditions of mysticism. “Having experienced the golden wheat fields off set against the Blue Mountains, I can better understand the great conservationist Justice William O. Douglas’ work to preserve the land and Squire Broel’s totems that rise from it,” Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator American University Museum. Broel’s intentional decision to live and work in a small agrarian community in the Pacific Northwest provides viewers with a raw vision of inward examinations that relate more to the health of the psyche than to the pop-culture echo chamber. The work is a complex fusion of expressions: longing, melancholy, hope and contentment.
In 1999 a traveling exhibition, Outward Bound – American Art at the Brink of the Twenty-First Century, brought Broel’s two-dimensional work to Washington, D.C, where it was included alongside works by Roy Lichtenstein, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Squeak Carnwath and Sam Gilliam. This is the first exhibition of Squire Broel’s three-dimensional work in the nation’s capital.
Article and additional photographs at Walla Walla Union Bulletin, February 7, 2019