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Enzo Torcoletti and Joe Segal, Form & Figure

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Enzo Torcoletti and Joe Segal, Form & Figure
March 9 - April 13, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, march 9, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum and Flagler College are pleased to present an exhibition of sculpture by artists Enzo Torcoletti and Joe Segal. Though they have been friends and colleagues for over 25 years, this is their first time exhibiting together. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, March 9 from 5 until 8 p.m. and will continue through April 13, 2012. Related programs include a conversation between the artists on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 pm.

While Torcoletti and Segal have differing philosophical, intellectual and aesthetic practices, both approach the act of making with a deep respect for the natural materials with which they work: primarily wood and stone. Though the end result affirms their personal explorations, they each manage to uncover an essential beauty contained in the raw materials.

For the last 35 years Enzo Torcoletti has made sculpture from traditional materials such as marble and stone that engage primarily with the historical, mythological and symbolic implications of the human figure, in particular the female form. Though primarily abstract, the artist borrows freely from past and current figurative imagery – from Cycladic idols and Greek deities to Renaissance Madonna’s and contemporary fashion figures. Torcoletti’s work demonstrates his “fascination with the variety that can be achieved within the confines of the human body as well as the medium used.” He emphasizes the tactility of his raw materials by using organic shapes and juxtaposing rough and polished surfaces. Thus, while Torcoletti’s work pays homage to the female figure of past and present, his manipulation of the medium engages the viewer and invites interpretation.

Segal utilizes salvaged lumber in order to explore the idea of the passage of time, as it relates to the raw materials, the artist’s own art practice and furthermore our connectedness (or disconnectedness) to nature. It is significant that these timbers grew hundreds of years ago, were then fabricated into beams that were incorporated into buildings that perhaps stood for over a hundred years, and were finally repurposed into sculptures. The artist states, “this act of harvesting and processing in order to create utility is the essence of our connection to the natural world.” In his work, Segal cuts across the grain to reveal the passage of time inherent in the raw material. By burning, scraping, and applying washes of color, the artist highlights those curves, lines and other qualities that expose the material’s past life. At the same time, Segal’s strict use of symmetry and rectilinear cuts betray our inclination to understand and impose order on our natural surroundings.

Enzo Torcoletti was born in Italy and attended art school there before receiving a B.A. in English Literature in 1968 and a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Printmaking in 1969 from the University of Windsor, Canada. In 1971 he completed his M.F.A. in Sculpture at Florida State University. Torcoletti has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, and is included in many museum collections such as the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville and The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina as well as numerous private collections. He lives and works in St. Augustine, Florida. He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Art at Flagler College, where he has taught Sculpture, Drawing, and Art History since 1971.

Joseph Segal is a native New Yorker who has lived and worked in St. Augustine since he received a B.A. from Flagler College in 1989. Segal’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout Florida and in New York, most recently at the Florida Center for the Arts, Palatka, Waltman Ortega Fine Art, Miami, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, and Robert Steele Gallery, New York.

"Sticks and Stones", by Dan Brown, Folio Weekly, March 6-12, 2012