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While the "babies" of Martin Freeman and the Stick Figures of Tim Burns dance and glide in space, Bruce Pagacz' creations cling to the wall, greeting you face-to-face. The variety of materials assembled by Pagacz is the most extensive and exotic of those found in this exhibition. From scrub brushes to telephones to thermometers to globes, the materials enliven the creatures and tell a tale about the production of utilitarian and leisure objects in this century.

Almost exclusively constructed of man-made materials, Pagacz' portraits are marked by a wit that verges on the hysterical. "I'm Puzzled", for example, contains hundreds of puzzle pieces, large and small, cardboard and plastic, giving the face a frenzied expression. The colorful plastic hair, consisting of toy parts and combs, seems to be stuck into place with sticks that act like hair pins. The overall effect is one of confusion, as though the disheveled hair and mottled face belong to someone who woke abruptly from a deep sleep.

Pagacz has always worked with found materials, initially constructing large-scale environments into which the viewer could walk. Later, he made smaller "view boxes" filled with both figurative and abstract elements that carefully retained their own identity. During the last two years, Pagacz has focused exclusively on the figure. Because of the figurative aspect of the constructions, each piece of material is now fully integrated into the whole, with the shape and color of each part blending into an overall pattern.

Pagacz has collected found objects for years and often incorporates materials into his work one, five, or even ten years after its discovery. The artist's memory for what he has in storage is uncanny, and an idea for a new sculpture can be triggered by the remembrance of a plastic toy or tool that he's packed away.

His constructions may be thought of as drawings or studies for more finished work. Instead of experimenting with ink or charcoal line to create volume, form, or feeling, he uses bits of plastic and wood to make lines that have a physical presence. As each plastic bauble is attached to a Japanese puzzle or other surface, Pagacz, who emphasizes the importance of the process, becomes filled with a sense of discovery and joy.

 

-J.F.

 

Click here for an essay by Jim Fisher.


I'm a Puzzled

48 x 17 x 12

Cock a Doodle

36 x 14 x 8

Phoney Baloney

25 x 13 x 7

What a Ding a Ling

36 x 16 x 8

Hot Shot

39 x 18 x 9

Space Cadet

22 x 13 x 7

What ta Heel

26 x 20 x 10

Jim Fisher is the Executive Director of Visual Aid.
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Other Artists in "Scavengers and Seers"