The Bonsack Gallery opens In a Time of Greatness, a solo show by Thad Duhigg, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Friday, December 6. The exhibit runs through February 14.
The word “landscape,” is nearly synonymous with painting. Thad Duhigg subverts this tradition by creating landscape sculptures. Cast in bronze, they reference the pastoral in art as well as classical statuary found in and around museums, parks and public buildings. However, Duhigg’s subject matter — including immigration, mass surveillance, ecological collapse and terrorism —is completely contemporary. Devoid of human figures, each landscape is a staging ground for disasters large and small. The tip of a tornado touches down to earth; agricultural chemicals seep into the soil between cornstalks; an empty raft, much like the ones used by Syrian refugees escaping war, swirls in the ocean. Duhigg’s use of bronze also evokes the military use of the metal, including armor, cannons, helmets and spears. By placing each piece on a plinth like those used for Greco-Roman and neoclassical sculptures, Duhigg asks the viewer to direct their gaze upward, and to question what they place on a pedestal. In addition to cast metal, Duhigg creates sculptures using wood, steel fabrication and modeling.
Thad Duhigg is currently professor of sculpture in the department of art and design at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He received an MFA from Syracuse University and a BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Duhigg has exhibited at Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Rockford Art Museum, the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Huntsville Museum of Art and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Budapest, Hungary. For more information, visit www.thadduhigg.com.