In conjunction with the special exhibitions A New American Sculpture, 1914—1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach and Commanding Space: Women Sculptors of Texas, James Surls will provide a public lecture in the Amon Carter’s auditorium. As a part of the Amon Carter’s ongoing exploration of the relationship between historical and contemporary art, Surls will speak about his work, how he started as a sculptor, and the process and materials he uses while displaying images of his work and process.
James Surls is a man who isn't afraid of the edge. It is at the edge that you circumscribe the truth. In a drawing or a print you can graphically create a bridge from the space where you and I dwell into the abstract truth of line. The lines of Surls' drawings, like the lines he cuts into the relief blocks, are lines that both intersect and search. They seem to be a part of a vast network that connect us all.
James Surls is the master of line and after creating prints for over 35 years Flatbed is honored to show fifty five works. As a sculptor, Surls has poured a lot of his time and creative energy in making prints. It is clear that these works on paper are an important part of his practice. They are directly accessible and they map out in two dimensions some of the recurrent themes seen in his sculpture.
Flatbed's relationship with Surls began in 1990 when he brought a large woodblock and two linoblocks to us to print. He had been printing most of his relief works at his own studio in Spendora, Texas, but his scale was limited. Flatbed had recently obtained a large Takach press capable of printing blocks from fifty inches wide to eight feet long. Flatbed took his challenge and editioned the three relief prints Night Vision, Both of Us and Tomorrow. Flatbed has since worked with Surls on many projects. In 1991 he created his first etching at Flatbed (Thought) and his etching suites The Flatbed Suite and The Heartland Suite. Surls has also collaborated with Bud Shark of Shark Ink of Lyons,Colorado, Chip Elwell and the Houston Fine Art Press.
Man on Edge, up until March 3 at Flatbed, is a rare chance to see or purchase one of Surls' prints, many of which have never been exhibited.