San Francisco

Gurdon Woods

Bolles Gallery

Most people in urban places are involved (if only their ears) with the infernal and unending breaking of the old structures and the rebuilding of the city. Having replaced bird song and talk with the noise of hammers and scrapers of all dimensions it could be expected that someone would notice the transient beauty and expressive force of some of the breakage before it is carted away. Gurdon Woods’ sculpture at the Bolles Gallery is a consciously-made replica of just such forms. Separate fragments of concrete are fastened together by structural iron which comes out of the chunks just as though they were the pieces that were hanging together after the collapse. Phaseout has a section of sidewalk still at right angles to a yard or so of wall from the structure that had been beside it, still joined concretely; the iron members that formerly were verticals have been bent into horizontals and the overhead part is now frozen in the act of falling. Woods says this image is now part of everyone’s everyday life, but I think it may be a potent suggester about catastrophe to many.

Knute Stiles