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Tom Waldron / Arthur Drooker
William Siegal Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Alex Ross

Continuing through September 3, 2010

The two-person exhibition Tom Waldron / Arthur Drooker reflects mutually-informing points of intersection between contemporary art and ancient artifacts, a hallmark of this gallery. Though each of these two artists operates within the sphere of present-day visual culture, both examine sites and materials that impart transitory aesthetic experiences with invocations of the mythic.

Knowingly imparting an antiquarian allure to historic ruins within the Caribbean, Latin America, and United States through the use of infrared photography\'s at once sumptuous and spectral tonalities, Drooker memorializes sites of collision between indigenous civilizations and colonial cultures. Today, many of these sites have been expurgated of their human traumas as a dispassionate nature subsumes traces of former military engagements. The hostile geometries glimpsed in \"Fort San Lorenzo, Chagres River, Panama\" are veiled by invading vines.

The works here represent Waldron\'s first inclusion of pedestals as intrinsic components of his sculptural compositions. They also negotiate between the natural and the geometric. Waldron culls conceptual valence and visual drama from the opposition of the lapidary precision of welded steel segments arced into sinuous, loosely organic, and razor-thin Minimalist forms, to the massive plinths that characterize the presentation of Classical sculpture.

Although Drooker\'s infrared photography and Waldron\'s stainless steel, wood, and concrete sculptures occupy opposite ends of the spectrum between embodied and disembodied modes of representation, they find unity in a consistent aim to present a kind of monumentality that inheres to an almost ritual stillness.

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