Willard Boepple: New Sculpture

March 29 – April 28, 2012

Press Release


Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent sculpture by Willard Boepple. This is the third solo show of Boepple’s work at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.

Three ten- and eleven-foot tall works will comprise the exhibition, their placement in the main gallery bringing about an over-scaled awareness to the space. Although Boepple experimented with the possibilities afforded by a large, vertical sculpture earlier in his career, he began to consider the parameters of these tower-like structures XX years ago after being commissioned by the city of Syracuse, New York to design a 130-foot broadcast tower for a local radio station. The project, with its particular structural requirements, generated the impetus behind this body of work.

The works in this series embody an aesthetic paradox long-explored by the artist: the simultaneous evocation and denial of any object-reference. While they suggest the connotation of something familiar–with these, one may call to mind an array of architectural structures: scaffolding, the base of a water tower, or perhaps even playground equipment–ultimately, they are objects of mystery, which defy their own genesis. Boepple tackles the challenge of the specifically vertical structure, which inherently invites figurative interpretation despite being composed of abstract substrates.

Writing about Boepple's "Loom" series, a smaller, horizontal precursor to the new works, David Cohen has said: "Free even of the possibility of literalism and certainly not readily associational, they leave the eye to do all the work."[1] Indeed, the towering structures unfold before the viewer, both as objects to be considered and as structures to frame and interact with their environment. Up close, they further surprise with their masterful craftsmanship: whether working in painted wood, aluminum or steel, the careful joining and welding of the elements is unexpected in a work of such scale.

Willard Boepple was born in Bennington, Vermont in 1945, but grew up in Berkeley, California. He studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1963), the University of California at Berkeley (1963-64), RISD (1967) and CUNY City College (1968). After teaching at Bennington College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, he returned to New York, where he has lived for over twenty years. He has exhibited widely here and abroad, at galleries including Acquavella, André Emmerich, Tricia Collins and Broadbent Gallery, London. His work belongs to such noted institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Storm King Art Center. In 1987, Boepple began participating in the Triangle Artists' Workshop, an artist residency program which he has helped replicate in countries all over the world.

Willard Boepple: New Scultpure  will be on view from March 29, 2012 through April 28, 2012. An opening reception will be held on March 29th from 6-8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30am to 6:00pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact the gallery at (212) 750-0949 or info@loribooksteinfineart.com.


[1] Cohen, David. “Willard Boepple: Disembodiment and Sensuality,” Sculpture, September 2010.