Rowboat II

14 ft. / porcelain / Mary McFadden Studio / New York, NY / 1977
collection: American Craft Museum / New York, NY

 

 

Horsehead
6 ft. / porcelain / 1977
private collection

 

Rower
14 ft. / porcelain slip over clay / 1977
collection: Lannon Foundation, Miami, FL / now destroyed

 

 

Rowboat II
14 ft. / porcelain / Mary McFadden Studio / New York, NY / 1977
collection: American Craft Museum

 

 

Shoreline Piece
16 ft. / porcelain / 1977
provenance unknown

 

 

Rower
14 ft. / porcelain slip over clay / 1977
collection: Lannon Foundation, Miami, FL / shown installed as part of the Lannon collection / now destroyed

 

Late 1960's / Conceptual Beginnings

UC Davis / Davis, CA

Land Monitor
approx. 30 ft / steel, refractory cement, sodium silicate/iron oxide surface / 1980
integrated with SF Bay sediment / each segment was ceremonially "killed"
with a hole driven through in the manner of Mimbres funerary pottery.

 

Top: Land Monitor Model
approx. 48 in / painted wood, ceramic with sodium silicate/iron oxide surface / 1980
provenance unknown

Bottom: Land Monitor Model I
approx. 24 in / ceramic / 1980
provenance unknown

 

Top: Land Monitor/Wave Model
approx. 36 in / ceramic with paint and sodium silicate/iron oxide surface / 1980
private collection

Bottom: Land Monitor Model I
approx. 24 in / ceramic / 1980
provenance unknown

 

 

Top: Land Monitor/Volcano Model
approx. 36 in / ceramic with paint and sodium silicate/iron oxide surface / 1980
provenance unknown

Bottom: Land Monitor Model I
approx. 24 in / ceramic / 1980
provenance unknown

 

 

Top: Land Monitor/Cave Model
approx. 36 in / ceramic with paint and sodium silicate/iron oxide surface / 1980
provenance unknown

Bottom: Land Monitor Model I
approx. 24 in / ceramic / 1980
provenance unknown

 

 

Top: Land Monitor/Thicket
approx. 36 in / painted wood and ceramic
1980 / provenance unknown

Bottom: Land Monitor/Iron I
approx. 36 in / ceramic with sintered
iron oxide surface / circa 1980
provenance unknown

 

Top: Land Monitor/Tableau
approx. 48 in / painted wood and ceramic
1980 / private collection

Bottom: Land Monitor/Iron II
approx. 36 in / ceramic with sintered
iron oxide surface / circa 1980
provenance unknown

Topiary Monitor (for the Treetop Sea)
approx. 36 in / ceramic, wood, paint / model devleloped as a project study/proposal
for a site-based work at the Stuart Collection / UC San Diego, San Diego, CA (not realized) / 1980
private collection


Late 1970's-Early 1980's / Land Monitors


SFAI / San Francisco, CA / Oakland Studio: Oakland, CA

Monitors/Land Monitors / 1980- 2005

The series of work relating to the monitor as exemplified by the Civil War Monitor ironclad and related vessels, was enhanced by research done at the National Archives and US Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC in the late 1970’s on a range of historical ships. The monitor represented a historical and radical transition in material, form and concept about a ship. The use of iron as a building material took the ship from the organic wooden realm into the inorganic, in the form of iron ore, volcanically transformed and essentialized into a metallic state. The whole life of an iron ship if viewed in a larger process of extraction, distillation, construction, oxidation (in the form of rust) and recombination, a condition of entropy and an analog with metabolism (anabolic and catabolic) become apparent. The characteristically low freeboard and waterline has allusions to landscape in it’s horizontality. In the history of ships the monitor was a critical, evolutionary hybrid of both form and application.

In this body of work the monitor took the form of kiln projects, larger sculptures, a series of models of landscape works and photographs. A significant and formative use of the monitor image or shape, was in the form of a site-specific kiln, Land Monitor/Fired Volcanic Boulder, 1980, here echoing the transformation of heat and material of the kiln as a journey of time and process, returning in time to the birth of the volcanic boulder fired within the form. This project will be examined more in depth in the planned companion volume, Project: Land Kilns. Land Monitor and a series of models for different landscape orientations with their iron oxide structure reference the oxidation of iron at the effective ‘end’ of the ships life and return to native elements. This idea was explored in the photographic series of Civil War ironclads and WWII ships, Orders of Entropy, 2006. Ship studies and proposals of the San Francisco Wharf Complex, 2008-12, as well as other proposals and projects, in part, derive their double-ended form from the Monitor series.

From the treatise - Project: Metafossil / John Roloff / 2013

 


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