By Janet Serra

Posted: 08/28/2014 19:23:25

The Washington Art Association in collaboration with the Washington Park Foundation is exhibiting the work of two extraordinary sculptors, Michael Steiner and Mark Mennin  in a show called Art for the Landscapes. 

Art for the Landscape" showcases selected works by Michael Steiner and Mark Mennin are internationally renowned sculptors. Even though they have both categorically refused to participate in group exhibitions in recent years, they have graciously agreed to exhibit their work in Washington, CT as a way to invite visitors and residents alike to think about sculpture. By placing some of their works together they hope to encourage some interesting dialogues about form, materials, and functions.

Their chosen materials would seem to create two counterpoints of approach: the construction of steel and the reduction of stone. However, they both consider themselves modelers of their materials. Steiner has never constructed steel to be a collage of found objects. Rather, he addresses his lyrical forms holistically, building and cutting away to a modeled refinement. The difference is subtle but has separated him from much of his generation of welders. His steel drawings are unbroken lines.

Likewise, Mennin's sculptures, on any scale, involve the building up and carving of stone to a refinement that fits his narrative. This has been true whether on earthwork, architectural, or miniature scales, and in both singular objects or multiple object installations. The common ground of these two sculptors is a sensibility of modeling in otherwise unforgiving materials. Beyond their personal narratives, there is meaning in the materials and the layers of process involved in each one.

Though both artists have intuitively addressed issues of their own times, they have also looked to the history of art. This has provided their contemporary ideas and traditional materials with a continuity and freshness that makes for interesting convergences and polarities.

The "Art for the Landscape" exhibition runs from August 30 through September 27. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon - 4 p.m. For additional information http://www.washingtonartassociation.org.

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