Curated by Zenith Gallery, Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary Year
heART of the tree
30+ Years of Exotic Wood Sculpture & Sculpted Furniture
by Margery E. Goldberg
April 28 – June 29, 2008
Meet the Artist: Thursday, May 15, 5:30-8:30pm
Illuminated Outline V The Nationals He She Tree
padouk & neon padouk, mahogany & black Louisville Sluggers mahogany & walnut
Washington, DC – April 18, 2008 – Margery E. Goldberg has been sculpting for most of her life and in this retrospective exhibition, you can see her long love affair with the material she transforms into sleek, elegant wood sculptures and furniture, sometimes adding neon, glass and even baseball bats. Goldberg’s reverence for wood and trees has been evident throughout her career, and this show comes on the heels of the 30th Anniversary Trees of Life exhibition at Goldberg’s Zenith Gallery, featuring pieces depicting trees by almost 50 artists whom she’s shown in her gallery over the years.
Working mostly in a man’s world, or man’s technique, Goldberg lovingly laminates her pieces before carving them into beautiful art; she doesn’t just sculpt from one piece of wood. She opened her first woodshop in a Georgetown hayloft in 1972, and has been engineering, fabricating, sculpting and dazzling ever since, adding smooth, sensual, feminine qualities to her work, seen less often in that of her male counterparts. “There were few women artists who had woodshops when I started,” she says, “and there are only a few
today. It’s heavy, dusty, hard work, but I knew early on this was my medium and my craft.” Clear about that, Goldberg jumped at the chance to buy 25,000 board-feet of the finest walnut and mahogany from a wood collector in 1978, and she still uses it today.”
You’ll see some of this wood, in heART of the tree, a mélange of cocktail tables, body tables, baseball tables, art-deco style buildings made from exotic woods, desks and a wide range of figurative sculpture of rich color and distinction. Touch any of Goldberg’s pieces and you’ll find their smooth surfaces and undulating lines physically addictive.
You’ll also enjoy the colorful neon, incorporated into Goldberg’s pieces. Why neon? “I’m partial to its ability to alter environments. Turn it on and, in a second, the light changes the mood of a room. Neon also adds a glow to the wood, which is warm in itself compared to other sculpted material.”
Goldberg began art classes as a young child, and by age 10 had developed a preference for sculpting.
“I saw things in three dimensions,” she says, “and enjoyed the tactile sensations of working with my hands.”
She pursued her art at George Washington University, where she earned a BA in Fine Arts, and she studied woodworking, sculpture and silversmithing in her hometown during the summers at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was there that she was influenced by top artisans in the field, including Wendell Castle and Tom Lacagnina, whom she considers a mentor.
“I enjoyed making jewelry,” she says, “but it was small work and metal is always the same. I wanted to create big pieces out of material with variable qualities, and every piece of wood is unique in character and color. There’s always something new to discover when working with wood.”
Throughout her career, Goldberg has worn many hats, yet somehow this entrepreneur, gallery owner, activist and artist has carved out time to create a significant body of work, including more than 300 pieces, which are held in private and public collections throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition to showing her work at Zenith Gallery, she has been featured in ten one-women shows in the Mid-Atlantic region and more than 40 group shows in 13 U.S. cities.
Where: 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (corner of 12th & Penn), Washington DC 20004
Hours: Weekdays, 8am -7pm / Saturdays & Sundays, appointment only, call 202-783-2963
Contact: Judith Keyserling, 202-726-1627, email@example.com
Now celebrating its 30th year, Zenith Gallery is recognized for breaking new ground with an ever-changing, eclectic mix of high-quality contemporary artworks that interest, stimulate and amuse. A member of the Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington, Zenith places art by established and emerging talent in public, residential and corporate collections.