On February 4, 2017, I attended a gallery exposition called “Peter Galbert: Continuous Grain,” at Richard & Dolly Maass Galley at Purchase College. Peter Galbert studied painting and photography in college and worked with sheet goods in fast-paced cabinet shops in New York City in the 1990s. All collections were created by Peter Galbert. This gallery features works in wood using traditional techniques to explore split wood as a sculptural material resulting in both functional chairs and non-functional objects. He did not name his art, so the viewer can imagine the titles of his art freely. There were many work of art in the gallery, and two works of art strongly attracted me.
The first work is brown-wood chair. The proportion of this chair is well-balanced. Even though all legs of the chair are handmade, their size and length are accurate. The surface of the top wood board is not flat, but the uneven surface seems to fit people’s hips. The design of this wood board not only makes this work artistic, but also reflects that this work was well considered for people. This chair used the wood material naturally. Galbert did not paint this artwork, so the texture of the grain of wood is beautiful. The grain of wood gave a mild and familiar impression to this work of art. This brown-wood chair is perfectly balanced and has unity.
The second work is a series of wood spoons. Galbert lined the spoons on the wall. Even though each spoon is a different length and is a different height, a united feeling is provided to this work of art. Similar to the brown-wood chair, this series of wood spoons also used the wood material effectively. All edges of the spoons were rounded, so the whole impression of this display is warm and soft. Because the background wall’s color was white, the shadow of the series of spoons reflected mildly on the white wall. These shadows made the series of spoons more three-dimensional and dynamic.
Through his gallery, I noticed that Galbert deeply understood the characteristics of the material that he used. He created his art by using the material effectively. When I saw his art, I saw not only his artwork, but that I could also discover the characteristics of the material that he used. Taking advantage of material and understanding about it can be applied to my work in Interactive Design. If I can understand the characteristics of the material, I also can understand how my artwork is influenced by that material. From his gallery, I learned how important it is to understand deeply the material.