Catenary Spaces and Planar Spaces
Working with the merged sensibilities of a sculptor, a photographer, an architect, and a builder, Timothy Makepeace orchestrates structure, design, light and shadow into elegant works deeply indebted to the basic principles of modernism. He is drawn to the inner bodies of buildings. Their skeletons and innards inspire him because they are generally hidden from the public's gaze under the skin of the edifice. It is precisely these hidden elements to which he directs our attention. Although reductivist in his visual vocabulary, Makepeace does not consider himself a classic minimalist sculptor. A closer look at the works in this exhibition reveals his observation of complex architectural structures and his abstracting of their complexity into controlled aesthetic simplicity.
Equally important are his memories of certain places, particularly those whose existence has become marginalized by the progress of history. Old massive bridges and bypasses forged of steel from forgotten mill towns provide him poetic source material. The industrial landscape holds special appeal because it “stands with its structure clearly revealed, its engineering laid bare, and its functions wholly evident.”1 Makepeace spends time photographing these places, such as under the Pulaski Skyway Bridge in New Jersey, absorbing their sounds, smells, textures and visual presences. This nostalgia for the essence of place imbues the sculptures with a particularly humanist spirit.
Makepeace's sensitivity to visual environment may stem from a childhood spent in many different countries. His mother is an artist, and his father was a Foreign Service officer who developed an interest in modern art in the 1940s and 50s. Living in Barcelona, his father befriended Joan Miró and met many of the Spanish modernists before they became internationally famous. As a result of these friendships, the household was filled with p…