Signals, an exhibition of new and recent works by Texas artist Stephen Daly,
will be on display October 18-November 15, at William Campbell Contemporary Art.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, October 18, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Signals will include a dozen drawings and two sculptures,
all focusing on Daly's ongoing interest in communication and the ways in
which it can be distilled and transformed into a purely visual endeavor.
Daly's newest works on paper continue this ongoing exploration, which in
the past included images based on the form of letter writing and has
evolved into more abstract symbols that form an entirely pictorial calligraphy.
Void of linguistic constructs, the symbols are nonetheless communicative through
formal and visual means. The abstract pieces become wholly about content-not
narrative-and its formal aspects. "Content probes the ways in which we
communicate with one another or with nature," Daly says. "The psychological
aspect of communication is explored by investigating how we use our senses to
see, hear, think, and wonder. A mix of formal, symbolic, and referential
elements converge to bring viewers into a ballpark of content or associations,
leaving their experiences to be enhanced through personalobservation or
Two monumental drawings anchor this show, creating a microenvironment within
the gallery space. The inspiration for the show's title,at six feet across
Signals features Daly's "language" of abstract shapes and lines
on a grand scale. The all black-and-white piece elicits a sense of movement
amid austerity, as the precisely drawn elements slowly float and tumble
across the paper. Describing his work, Daly notes: "Geometric, abstract,
and symbolic forms illuminate bits of information that may collectively
bring the viewer toward the intended point, an emotional condition, or a
level of visual satisfaction."
Another immense drawing at more than four feet high, nearly five feet across,
and eight inches deep, Vortex dominates all three dimensions as it sprawls
across the wall and penetrates viewer space. Here, Daly adds the element of
sculpture to create an interdimensional piece full of color, movement, and,
as he describes it, a
demonstration of entropy. Geometric and organic elements swirl around the
surface, visually pulled in and down by a team of cast bronze cones. In this
instance, a broad, external force exerts control over freeform, individual
elements-in Daly's eyes, avisual combination of cynicism and levity.
By commingling two- and three-dimensional pieces, Daly seeks to connect with
a broader audience and forge a sense of empathy between artwork and viewer.
"I enjoy the static, deliberate nature of sculpture and its existence in the
same space as that of the viewer," he explains. "Conversely, the gesture,
immediacy, and atmosphere possible in drawing can accomplish much that the
discrete object cannot." If he can create memorable art, Daly says, then
he has communicated successfully with his audience.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Widely acclaimed throughout Texas, Stephen Daly's work has been exhibited at such
venues as the Amarillo Art Center, the Art Center in Waco, Blue Star Contemporary
Art Center and the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, the Galveston Arts Center,
the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, and this year at the Lawndale Art Center in
Houston. In 2013, he was the subject of a one-person show at San Angelo State
University. Nationally, Daly has shown at galleries in New York, Chicago,
Denver, and California, and internationally in Budapest, Havana, and Florence
(Italy). In 2002, the Polytechnic University in Valencia, Spain, mounted a
retrospective exhibition of his work.
Daly has received numerous awards, among them the Grace Hill Milam Centennial
Fellowship in Fine Arts from the University of Texas, the Louis
Comfort Tiffany Award in Sculpture, and the prestigious Prix de Rome. In 2008,
he was selected as a finalist for Texas' coveted Hunting Art Prize. Daly's work
appears in many collections, including those of Texas A&M, the Arkansas Art
Center, the Oakland Art Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the Jack S. Blanton Museum
of Art in Austin, and the American Academy in Rome.
Stephen Daly earned his MFA in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art,
and before that, received a BFA from San Jose State University. Daly taught
art at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis; Humboldt State University
in Arcata,California; and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He then
served as associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin for nearly
three decades, and in 2007, was appointed professor emeritus there. He has
been represented by William Campbell Contemporary Art since 1985.