Roy Staab: Suspended in Time Catalog

Roy Staab: Suspended in Time Catalog

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Roy Staab: Suspended in Time ​is a 16 page, full color, exhibition catalogue in conjunction with the artist's 2016 summer exhibition at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum in Milwaukee, WI.

Suspended in Time surveys Staab’s previous environmental installations through photographs. The images capture the variety of his artistic expressions: constructions of willow, reed, and bamboo levitate over land or water; footprints spiral through mud or snow; and images of circles, stars, and calligraphic lines trace the artist’s eloquent interventions in the natural world. 

Although monumental in scale, Staab's installations are ephemeral and subject to the destructive forces of nature. Made from local materials and constructed on site, his work frames and reflects its surroundings. Staab sketches his preliminary drawing directly on the ground with string or twigs. Using his body as brush, fulcrum, and shuttle, Staab weaves precise, geometric forms that interact with the surrounding space and the land or water below. Shadows or reflections multiply and complicate the floating lines, changing with passing clouds and the angle of the sun. The work lasts only in photographs. Soon after completing each sculpture, Staab records an image and then lets nature reclaim his work. Shadow Dance (included in this catalog) is the first sculpture to be commissioned for the grounds of the Villa Terrace. Installed along the central axis of the Renaissance Garden, Staab's installation consists of interlocking circles of reeds suspended from willow stakes. Although he reintroduces wild elements to the formal gardens, he does so using a shared language of structure, control, and symmetry. To encounter the work goes beyond viewing: attributes include the smell of the ground, the warmth and chill of sun and cloud, the sound of birds and traffic, lapsing time, changing light, and the physical interaction of moving toward, around, and through the installation. While traditional landscape paintings seek to represent nature in art, Staab's installations present art within nature. The photographs re-present these works as two-dimensional images suspended in time.


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