In the Sculpture Court ... Domestic Landscape

Date: 
Monday, October 15, 2012 (All day) to Tuesday, October 15, 2013 (All day)
Robert Licht relaxes on one of his sculpturesThe Sculpture Court at Reisman Hall will host a new sculpture beginning in mid-October, when international exhibiting sculptor, Rob Licht will be on site working with students on a site-specific work titled Domestic Landscape.  The exhibition continues through mid-October 2013.

Rob Licht grew up near Ithaca, and was inspired by the Finger Lakes' landscape. He typically works in welded steel; and also works in wood, cement, bronze and other mediums. His sculptures range in scale from small intimate pieces to large outdoor works.

Licht earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maine College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Cornell University. He exhibits his work throughout the Northeast and has earned several grants and awards. He was director of the State of the Art Gallery from 1997-99. He has taught sculpture, design and drawing at Ithaca College, BOCES Continuing Education program, Maine College of Art Summer College program and at Cornell. He maintains a studio in Ithaca, N.Y. Visit http://roblichtstudio.com.  Licht’s previous works.

Licht’s work explores the influence of landscape on the individual by addressing the power of certain forms found in nature to evoke memory, emotion and anthropomorphic physicality. Of his work, he writes, “The steel sculptures presented are inspired by the glaciated topography that surrounds Cazenovia…  The formal layout of the Sculpture Court suggests to me the formal arrangement of a long living room. By referencing the arrangement of furniture, the work encourages playful interaction. Resting on the sculptures, the viewer will, hopefully, gain an appreciation for the landscape features that predominate in the region.”

Domestic Landscape

Sculpture, Robert LichtOf his work in general, Licht writes, "The landscape has always had a strong influence on me. As a youngster I would go on forays into the woods and I began to identify with a sense of place well before I knew what that term meant. I often drew or painted the landscape, taking my art supplies with me everywhere. Once I began the rigorous, formal training of art school, my perception of the landscape shifted from the paradigm of pictorial illusion towards the more experiential model that sculpture provided."The unchanging landscape connects us to our past and is capable of invoking memory and thus, nostalgia. I always see the rolling terrain of fields and woods as an invitation to explore, which takes me back to my childhood adventures. There is a warmth and friendliness to the landscape here–often the hills take on an anthropomorphic physicality for me, with rounded features that suggest the soft forms of the human body."

Licht says that the steel sculptures that form the installation in the sculpture court are inspired by the glaciated topography that surrounds Cazenovia. He writes, "By creating these landscape forms on a human scale I hope to invoke that sense of comfort and nurturing that nature has always provided for me and to offer an experience that is immediately attainable and satisfying. In many ways, the outdoors became my living room; it is no accident that the arrangement of the forms and soft colors suggests overstuffed furniture and the gentle contours invite reclining . Hopefully, the "viewer" will take it upon themselves to bridge that gap between conceptual interpretation   and pure physical experience."

"The flowing top surfaces echo the hills and valleys while the gray sides reference the dark shale of the region as is often exposed in road cuts. The rectilinear format of the elements recall the formal division of the landscape into the square parcels of the original military tracts.

Sculpture, Robert Licht"As the green space of a courtyard mediates the transition from inside space to outside space, my work mediates our relationship to the surrounding landscape. The formal layout of the Sculpture Court suggests to me the formal arrangement of a long living room. By referencing the arrangement of furniture, the work encourages playful interaction. Resting on the sculptures, the viewer will, hopefully, gain an appreciation for the landscape features that predominate the region. They also will sense the subtle influence that these remarkable landforms have on not only the character of the communities that are bounded by these hills and valleys, but on the character of the individuals who call this place home. Thus, being literally cradled by the forms, the viewer has the opportunity to form a bonding relationship to the landscape that is the inspiration for the piece."