Gerald Peters Gallery Contemporary

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Evan Feldman


One of the most accomplished American sculptors working today, Tom Joyce has opened his discipline to a new scale of monumentality and technical innovation. In the nearly two decades since his MacArthur Fellowship, Joyce has created large-scale works engaged with process and materiality, and underpinned by an abiding interest in the physical properties of his favored medium, iron. This exhibition of Joyce’s Core series, in two and three dimensional works, threads together the artist’s exploratory range of materials and adapted technologies.

Developed in 2003 and expanded upon in 2013 during two residencies awarded by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the sculptures on display are each cast from a unique alloy formulated by the artist. Comprised of iron filings and steel cuttings collected from projects Joyce produced over the previous three decades, the sculptures, titled Core, carry with them an inherited history from a lifetime of work. By repurposing these remnants, Joyce also makes reference to the many complex and ephemeral histories embedded in any object made of iron.

Each sculpture in the series begins with a resin-bonded-sand mold Joyce has carved passages into for molten iron to fill. The mold then disintegrates, leaving behind the solidified form of its cavernous interior. Interested in capturing the mold’s structure before it disintegrates, Joyce employs the latest imaging technology from CT scanning to apprehend the complex patterning of the mold spawning new works within the series.

Among these subsequent works are a lithographic series Core Transparent and the illuminated chromogenic FujiTrans series Corona. Using the patterns of three different sand molds recorded by the CT scanner, Joyce’s Core Transparent and Corona illustrate a collapsed view of the crisscrossing cavities the molten iron moves through within the mold. The result is a two-dimensional depiction of the original molds turned inside out and mirrored. These images offer a ghostly reminder of what will be destroyed at the moment the finished form is created.

Another element of his Core series is Joyce’s digital projection Core Value. Composed of fifteen CT scans stitched together in sequence, the video animates the movement of molten iron through the cavities of the mold.

Joyce’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States and internationally. Since 1983, he has taught and presented at over 100 institutions, universities, and college campuses throughout the United States. As an invited U.S. delegate, panelist and keynote speaker, Joyce has also lectured at conferences and symposia throughout Europe and North America. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and is an alumnus of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Art/Industry Residency program. In 2004, in recognition of his contribution to the arts, Joyce was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. His work is in many permanent public collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Detroit Institute of Art; New Mexico Museum of Art; Luce Foundation Center for American Art; Mint Museum of Art; National Metal Museum; Boston Museum of Fine Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery.