Artist Talk: MJ Anderson
June 27, 11am
Sculpting in stone for over 30 years, MJ Anderson selects marble, travertine and onyx from the quarries and stone yards of Carrara, Italy to create her iconic figurative and abstract sculptures. Bringing a unique female perspective to a historically male dominated medium, Anderson has said she feels carving in stone to be the most authentic and enduring of all art forms. In Acqua Pietrificata, Anderson steps away from the classical female form and focuses on the metaphorical. Shifting from her use of marble to onyx, she highlights the natural transparency of the medium and the subtle changes of light and color, from green to gold. The literal meaning of the exhibition’s title is petrified water, referring to the artist’s perception of water solidified.
Anderson implements masterful skill while also allowing for the dynamic nature of the stone to emanate, encouraging the viewer to engage with the work. She relishes in the ‘scar’ found in raw stone. These wound-like marks are the part of the natural rock that reveal the stone’s centuries of exposure to the natural elements. The beautiful subtlety of the sculptures exude a powerful presence, often evoking the iconic feminine shape suggested in their titles, yet also alluding to the vessel and the symbolism implied by their forms. Anderson’s sensual carvings seek to convey unspoken emotions of being, to create an image of life’s intangibles.
MJ Anderson brings her sculptures to fruition in her studios in Carrara, Italy and on the Oregon coast. She was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and an Opportunity Grant from the Ford Family Foundation. Her work is in public and private collections, including Providence Medical Center (Portland, OR), Museum of Northwest Art (LaConner, WA) and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art (Salem, OR). A catalogue will be produced in conjunction with the show.