Marks and Messages, 1992
Sculpture and Ink Paintings from Martha Graham Dance experience
Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA
Marks and Messages: Sculpture by James Fuhrman is an exhibition of monolithic structures that individually make a powerful statement and collectively tell a story. Each stone is a line of the story; each installation group is a chapter; together they complete a narrative. Coupled with the title poem written by the artist, we can begin the process of reading and discovering the meaning of these artifacts. The story that they tell is one of mystery and that story is told on two levels—the narrative of the images and the physical creation of the stones.
Where did these things come from? What do they say? They appear to be natural forms that have been uncovered from the earth. What can be identified as hieroglyphics or written characters on the surface of the rock, a man-made element, can also be viewed as a natural phenomenon of one molten material infused into another by great pressure and heat from within the earth.
This combination of natural and human forces is manifested in the marks on the stone and the manner in which the stones are arranged. The oak beam installations of vertical and horizontal works are arranged in circular forms, reminiscent of the ritual, symbolic circles formed by the megaliths and structures of Stonehenge, Avebury, and Mesa Verde, that invite the viewer to enter, sit among them, touch them, think about them.
James Fuhrman’s work centers on the emotion of gestural line and the impact of large scale; this is evident even in his most intimate pieces. The action and desire to make marks is something common to us all and we are encouraged to utilize this innate characteristic to identify the message of the marks and revel in the process of discovery.
Lisa Hanover, Director
Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, 1992