Images: Bill Wolff

Artist Statement

When my children are my age, many animals and environments that I grew up thinking were among the most unique and beautiful on the planet will very likely no longer exist.

These gestural, biomorphic abstractions poignantly reflect both beauty and this sense of possible loss. The “heads” have been replaced by an open cone, a form which has evolved from an open mouth and which I have used in my work over the last ten years to as a quiet comment on consumerism. These sculptures are carved, hollowed and assembled from sections of wood with metal leaf on the surface, a variation of the traditional yosegi zukuri process that I studied in Japan. All of this wood was found and otherwise destined to be firewood. Each work is initiated with a chainsaw, jointed with chisel and plane, charred with a torch, scraped and sanded, leafed with metal, brushed with chemicals and then scraped and drawn on. Tool marks from every stage are visible atop the grain of the wood and are a conversation. The surface of the work tells its history. This is the truest way for me to recognize the trees that provide both the material and grounding for my work.

Bill Wolff is on the faculty, and head of the sculpture area, in the Art Department at Salisbury State University. He holds an MFA from Louisiana State University and an MA from the Tokyo University of the Arts. His website is www.billwolff.net

Photos © Bill Wolff

Bellow, 2012, 36”x18”x24”. Cherry, copper leaf.

Bellow, 2012, 36”x18”x24”.
Cherry, copper leaf.

O Ye, 2009, 126”x60”x60”. Camphor, copper leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

O Ye, 2009, 126”x60”x60”.
Camphor, copper
leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National
University of Fine Arts.

Birdhouse, 2007, 78”x48”x48”. Ginko wood, copper plate. Installation view at Hirakushi Denchu Studio, Tokyo, Japan.

Birdhouse, 2007, 78”x48”x48”.
Ginko wood, copper plate.
Installation view at Hirakushi Denchu Studio
Tokyo, Japan.

Furrow and Eat the Young 2009, Furrow: 62”x120”x48”. Cherry, copper leaf. Eat the Young: 124”x40”x36”. Cherry, copper leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

Furrow and Eat the Young 2009,
Furrow: 62”x120”x48”. Cherry, copper leaf.
Eat the Young: 124”x40”x36”. Cherry, copper leaf.
Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

Dance, 2015, 18”x14”x12”. Cast iron on padauk base.

Dance, 2015, 18”x14”x12”.
Cast iron on padauk base.

Organ, 2011, 72”x120”x48”. Oak, Japanese maple, copper plate, copper leaf.

Organ, 2011, 72”x120”x48”.
Oak, Japanese maple, copper plate, copper leaf.

Flock, 2012. 30 Elements, each approximately 36”x24”x24”. Installation view of detail at Gallery CoExist, Tokyo, Japan.

Flock, 2012. 30
Elements, each approximately 36”x24”x24”.
Installation view of detail at Gallery CoExist, Tokyo, Japan.

Charge, 2014, 66”x40”x20”. Maple, aluminum leaf, graphite on steel base.

Charge, 2014, 66”x40”x20”.
Maple, aluminum leaf, graphite on steel base.

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