Dean Pulver: "Close to Home, Landscape Portraits"

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Dean Pulver CLOSE TO HOME

Landscape Portraits

DEAN PULVER

Close to Home: Landscape Portraits

Opening Reception: 5 - 8 PM | June 29

Exhibition Dates: June 29 - July 27, 2024

Artwork on opposite page: Movement, 2023, 18 x 32 x 2”, dyed walnut Image 1

INTRODUCTION

A master woodworker with a BFA, Dean Pulver’s newest artwork is an abstracted step away from the functional aspects of creation. Physically immersing himself into the process, Pulver journeys into the landscapes with topographic maps and an electric motorcycle to precisely carve the contours of mountains, valleys, and rivers into his medium of choice.

Making friends has not been a struggle for such a kind and charismatic artist as Dean Pulver, until he found himself face to face with strangers that lacked human form. Having been raised in the lush greens of Minnesota, the high-altitude land forms dominating Pulver’s chosen home of Taos, New Mexico, offer him new perspectives and unique histories that take their time to fully understand.

For over twenty years, Pulver has lived amongst these forms begging to be known. Now, it seems their personalities chatter and emerge merely by being given attention. The artist leaves behind any preconceived constraints he became known for in his exhibitions and collections at museums such as the Harwood Museum of Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Museum of Art in Wood, and Bellevue Art Museum, to fully immerse himself into an exploration of the natural world.

Wheeler , 2024, 48 x 36 x 16”, greyed walnut
Image 2
Confluence , 2022, 20 5 x 20 5 x 4”, basswood

Artist Statement

Over the past few years I have been going deeper into the study of our landscape and the complex processes of growth, deterioration and change. This has been a way to reflect on the natureofourexistence.Ihavechosenlandscapefeaturesthatareclosetomyhomeandheart as starting points for this investigation and exploration. The pieces created were developed through extensive site visits, sketching, photos, maps, drawings, and onsite and studio work. Manytypesofwoodsandfinisheshavebeenusedfortheirvariouscharacteristics.

Spending more time with the landscape has been like getting to know someone better. The more time you spend, the more you know. There are many sites close to my home that I see almosteveryday,buthavenotreallygottentoknowwellbecauseIhadn’tknowntheirstories.The processesthathaveformedthisplanetandhowtheyrevealthemselvesaresomeofthestories theytell.Thisseriesofsculpturesareportraitsofthesecomplexanddiversepersonalities.

Artwork opposite page: Horsethief , 2023, 28 x 21 x 4”, copper patina & basswood Image 4
Wild and Scenic , 2024 98 x 46 x 14”, maple
Image 5

Segment , 2024

56 x 19 x 4”, patinated iron on basswood
Image 6

Powerline , 2024

46 5 x 21 x 4 5”, burned Douglas Fir

Image 7

PositiveandNegative ,

2022, 8 x 17 x 2”, dyed walnut

PLEIN AIR CARVING

Situated over the mouths of hungry rivers and emancipated gorges, Pulver carries layers of wood and hand-held tools to investigate their stories in real time.

The plein air process of these sculptures mimics a high-speed microcosm of the lives they are recording. Carving, cutting, and layering these sites upon themselves simultaneously deconstructs and constructs the details of the story. The artist thoughtfully chooses the types of wood involved with these details in mind.

By placing himself amidst these stories that are so close to home, an understanding can emerge as the artist himself becomes the source of its erosion, corrosion, and ultimate creation.

Peak , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2 5”, basswood
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Theartistpleinaircarvingthe Red River & Rio Grande confluence, 2024

PhotographsbyMontannaBinder
Stagecoach , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2 5”, basswood

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BigArsenic , 2023, 14 5 x 7 x 2 5”, basswood
Image

Artist’scarvingsiteatCebollaMesa,NewMexico

PhotographbyMontannaBinder

Front & side view of TresOrejas , 2023, 29 x 29 x 6”, dyed & oiled walnut
Front & side views of Landscape , 2023, 11 x 26 5 x 1.5”, mahogany
Image 13
Horizons , 2023, 11 x 18 5 x 1 75”, dyed walnut Image

“It’sthesamesubjectasIwascoveringbefore...growthpatterns,processing, aging,growthdeterioration,youknow,maybeit’slookingatmyownlifeand everyoneelse’slife...I’vebeenstudyingallthegeologyandtheuprisings,with RedRivercomingfirst,the[SangredeCristo]mountainsrising,theRioGrande takingover...there’sthesestoriesintherethatarejustsoamazing.”

on

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-Dean Pulver, audio recording from Cebolla Mesa 2024
Top view
opposite page of Confluence , 2022, 20 5 x 20 5 x 4”, basswood Image

Image 15

Near and Far , 2023, 20 x 20 x 1 5”, dyed walnut
Side & front view of Gorge , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2 5, basswood

Image 17

Hear Me , 2023, 15 x 11.5 x 2”, dyed walnut

While out in the open air, Pulver remarks on how the themes of this exploration have always been embedded in his work. In the winter of 2019-2020, The Harwood Museum of Art presented a solo exhibition of Pulver’s wooden sculptures. Upon reflection, and with consideration of the curator Matthew Thomas’ statement of the show, one can trace universal timelines through the stages of Pulver’s creations.

“SomepiecesareJurassicinspiritandscale—ribbedbonesandancientspinalcords—science modelsdeconstructed.Othersarecellular,finitemolecules:anamplifiedimageofDNA— preciousobjects,delicateanddetailed...”

- Matthew Thomas, Harwood Museum Curator 2019-20

From the explosion of single cells and dinosaurs to the scaling of the earth post-ice age that Pulver studies today, the curiosity about what has come before and how it impacts us today has always been at the forefront of the artist’s creations.

Ute , 2023, 30 x 30 x 5”, burned Douglas Fir

Artist Biography

Dean Pulver is a full-time sculptor and furniture maker working in wood. Growing up in a multicultural family of artists in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was influenced by both of his parents: his German and Irish father, a commercial illustrator, art director, and painter, and his Japanese mother, a clothing designer and fiber artist.

In 1987, Pulver graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in sculpture. Since then, he has been exhibiting and teaching extensively in the United States. With artworks shown in galleries and museum exhibitions and collections including the Fuller Craft Museum, Bellevue Art Museum and The Center for Art in Wood, one can also find the artist’s previous trade of fine art functional furniture collected into impressive museums.

Pulver has taught at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Penland School of Crafts, and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. In 2017, the artist was awarded the Bob Stocksdale International Award for Creativity from the Center for Art in Wood.

Now, the artist has been living in Taos, New Mexico for over 20 years with his wife, ceramic artist Abby Salsbury. The couple is currently developing “Taos Mesa Arts”, a center for exhibitions, classes, retreats, and residencies.

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Tree Line , 2023, 11 x 17 x 1 75”, dyed walnut
Image

CATALOGUE PRICE LIST

1. Movement , 2023, 18 x 32 x 2”, dyed walnut ......... ......................

2. Wheeler , 2024, 48 x 36 x 16”, greyed walnut ......... .....................

3. Confluence , 2022, 20.5 x 20.5 x 4”, basswood ..............................

4. Horsethief , 2023, 28 x 21 x 4”, copper, patina & basswood . .....................

5. Wild and Scenic , 2024, 106 x 46 x 16”, maple......... .....................

6. Segment , 2024, 56 x 19 x 4”, dye & patinated iron on basswood ...................

7. Powerline , 2024, 46.5 x 21 x 4.5”, burned Douglas Fir ... ......................

8. PositiveandNegative , 2022, 8 x 17 x 2”, dyed walnut ... ......................

9. Peak , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2.5”, basswood .............. ......................

10. Stagecoach , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2.5”, basswood .......... .....................

11. BigArsenic , 2023, 14.5 x 7 x 2.5”, basswood ........ .....................

12. TresOrejas , 2023, 29 x 29 x 6”, dyed & oiled walnut .... .....................

13. Landscape , 2023, 11 x 26.5 x 1.5”, mahogany ....... .....................

14. Horizons , 2023, 11 x 18.5 x 1.75”, dyed walnut ....... .....................

15. Near and Far , 2023, 20 x 20 x 1.5”, dyed walnut ...... .....................

16. Gorge , 2022, 7 x 7 x 2.5, basswood ............ ......................

17. Hear Me , 2023, 15 x 11.5 x 2”, dyed walnut ........ ......................

18. Ute , 2023, 11 x 17 x 1.75”, burned Douglas Fir ....... ......................

19. Tree Line , 2023, 11 x 17 x 1.75”, dyed walnut ........ ...................... $1,400 $26,000 $8,000 $7,000 $24,000 $3,600 $9,000 $800 $800 $1,400 $2,600 $8,000 $1,400 $1,200 $1,200 $800 $800 $9,000 $1,200

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