Carol Brown Goldberg’s work inspired by science and everyday life.
The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery’s new exhibit, “Sculpture and Works on Paper,” by artist Carol Brown Goldberg, includes never-before-exhibited line drawings dating from the 1970s as well as whimsical bronze sculptures constructed out of found household materials.
One of the main themes of the exhibit is the idea of meandering, the artist said. “These works are meandering, not preconceived—I never know exactly where I’m going,” she said. “They also represent how our lives are layered with many things and many roles. My art carries that concept.”
Immediately upon entering the gallery, visitors will see a collection of approximately 30 one-foot-tall bronze sculptures fabricated out of found objects. The sculptures are arranged on risers and backed by a large photograph of schoolchildren in Baltimore in 1911, including the artist’s father. The installation is titled “Class Photo 2011.”
“When I put these sculptures together, it felt like they were lining up to be in a class photo,” Ms. Goldberg explained. “It felt like an audience.”
Ms. Goldberg has always worked in many different media, she said, and often spends most of her daytime hours painting. But in 2008, during the Clinton/Obama Democratic nomination debates, she sat in front of her television for hours each evening, watching the debates and glue-gunning together sculptures she’d create out of things she found in her house—things like electrical outlets, a set of kitchen measuring spoons, an egg slicer, a cordless phone and a squeegee.
“By the time the debates were over, I had more than 80 objects,” she said. “They were lined up on a windowsill in our apartment, and I didn’t know what to do with them. I knew glue guns were not archival, and so the foundry that had fabricated [some of my other sculptures] told me that I could bronze them….In one tone, you began to see the way the forms work together.”
Line drawings in the exhibit, many created with bright ink colors on textured handmade paper, also reflect Ms. Goldberg’s focus on creating as she goes, she said. “It’s about being as bold on paper, as crazy as you can’t be in life.”
Other drawings in the exhibit—some made in the mid-1970s and others created as recently as early 2012—explore Ms. Goldberg’s interest in the scientific world, particularly nebula (interstellar clouds of dust and gasses) and hadrons (subatomic particles) and their behavior.
“I started reading about physics back in the ’70s, and it was so exciting, it was like discovering another planet. I just completely immersed myself in it,” she said. Many of the drawings involved putting down hundreds of thousands of tiny ink points, a process Ms. Goldberg described as meditative.
Director and Chief Curator of University Galleries Lenore Miller, M.F.A. ’72, said she enjoyed working with Ms. Goldberg to curate the exhibit.
“This installation and accompanying catalogue provided educational insight into [the artist’s] creative process,” she said. “Science and art combine, and artistic skill results in striking imagery. It was very exciting to help an artist curate a new body of work in a new venue—I am grateful to Carol Brown Goldberg for the opportunity.”
Ms. Goldberg said she was very happy to be showing her work at a university gallery.
“I like the non-commercialism and the focus on scholarship and intellect. I love the emphasis on learning—it seems to be in the right place. I’m not against commercial galleries, but here I don’t have to worry about selling,” she said.
Ms. Goldberg’s work has been in more than a hundred solo and group shows in the United States, Europe, Russia and Central America, as well as in the American Center for Physics, and other science-related institutions. Her current exhibition is free and open to the public through April 20. The Luther W. Brady Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.