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Josh Garber: Intuitive Strategies
by Kathleen Whitney

The relationship between artists and their work is always peculiar: it inhabits a territory formed of equal parts magic act, charades, and the ventriloquism of influence. Josh Garber’s sources and end points are firmly located within this three-part territory. His results are intelligent, inventive, peculiar, and idiosyncratic, unrelated to the tedious bump, grind, and recycle of popular culture. His complex sculptures combine extravagant technique with a unique compilation of ideas. The work is fluid, so spontaneous in appearance that it’s nearly impossible to comprehend the fact that these seemingly weightless, floating constructions are made from hundreds of solid aluminum bars. Careful, intuitive engineering grounds these heavy objects, keeping them in balance.
Each form develops from a myriad of strategically placed welds and countless hours of grinding, which conceals the welds and creates a polished surface. This time-consuming and laborious combination moves the material to the outer limits of its potential. No one makes work like Garber’s. He finds inspiration in the realms of biology, cell structure, and genetics. His originality lies in his unique interpretation of these sources and in the fact that his methods and ideas are inextricably linked.

Lucent, 2008.
Aluminum bar and fiber optics, 30 x 3 x 3 ft.
View of the work installed at the Phoenix Light Rail system.

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