Utah artist David LeCheminant makes gorgeous, meticulously constructed abstract sculptures from wood that crackle and dance with frenetic energy. In “What Keeps Me Up At Night,” we are offered twenty-five sculptures from 2017 to the present in a sort of mini-retrospective showcasing a diverse body of work with six wall pieces and an array of free-standing sculptures. The many styles, color pallets, scales, and concepts on display create a simultaneously diverse and surprisingly coherent body of work.
From afar, the forms are elegant and modern, finished beautifully in vibrant colors. But look closer at the intricate, multifaceted surfaces and something else emerges. These sculptures are as much love letters to the unique materials and processes LeCheminant has spent decades mastering as they are to the family and friends to which many of the works are dedicated. The sculptures seem to live and breathe as your eye follows the mad puzzle made of countless smaller pieces of wood that make up the larger form, fit together both chaotically and somehow perfectly. “Balanced but not symmetrical” is one of the artist's guiding philosophies.
Deep reds and violets bring palpable drama to the exhibit, while sculptures like Thor and Eli evoke mid-century aesthetics with their natural finishes, giving them the delicious nostalgia and gravity of something familiar that has existed in the world for decades, perhaps in your childhood home.
The works interact playfully, pushing and pulling against the backdrop of trees and mountains seen outside the windows of the largely glass gallery, as LeCheminant’s elegant style and intimate emotions course through the room like electricity, bringing the whole exhibit to life.
The artist explains “… I spend my day covered in sawdust trying to figure out how to make things fit together literally and conceptually. At the end of the day, as I lie on my couch thinking about my day, I wonder if my work succeeds at expressing my ideas. And this keeps me up at night more times than I want to admit.
I believe art can accomplish many things: making statements, expressing ideas (deep or shallow), being beautiful (or curious, odd or interesting), challenging notions, exploring technique and testing materials just to name a few. One of my favorite statements is ‘reality is many different things happening at the same time’ - and I think that is so true of art.”
“What Keep Me Up At Night” is on view through July 13.
Thursday, July 13, 2023 at 7:00am to 9:00pm
George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Art Gallery 1575 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT, 84115