C O D A GALLERY PRESENTS
SIRI HOLLANDER • SCULPTURE
DEC 1 - 29, 2017
CODA Gallery unveils a new exhibition of bronze, aluminum, cement and steel sculptures by Siri Hollander running Dec. 1-29, with a Dec. 1 opening reception (5-8 p.m. in conjunction with El Paseo Art Walk/Palm Desert First Weekend) attended by the artist from Santa Fe, NM.
If you dislike guarded conversation and the feeling that time is money, talk to Siri Hollander. Her down-to-earth manner and physicality derive in part from her unconventional childhood. Three years after her birth in New York City in 1959, Siri’s painter father and poet mother moved to Spain’s Andalucía region, where Siri grew up amid an abundance of horses while being home-schooled. She played with clay in her father’s studio while he painted and went horseback riding daily. “I would go to the river and build things out of sticks and mud and whatnot,” she recalls. “When I started, it was a grand mess. Little by little, it got more logical. But it just happened. There wasn’t much thought behind it.”
More than five decades later, Siri still follows an entirely instinctive approach to art and doesn’t let precise measurements rule her work. “I can guarantee the proportions will not be correct. That’s just the way my eyes see things. It’s so wrong that it’s right,” she says, revealing that she is dyslexic. “Really lifelike pieces are very annoying. They’re overdone,” she asserts. “The looser the lines, the more I like it. If you are trying to ‘bring life’ to something that is not alive, it is just a lot of work in the wrong direction. Whatever comes out is best — and that is often an abstract line.” Indeed, sometimes, the skewed perspectives of shadows that Siri sees while riding horses inspire her to put a smaller head on a frame with elongated limbs.
When asked what she does by people who don’t know her, she simply says, “I make giant horses. I weld. The pieces mostly involve welding, so I guess I am a welder.” That humble response belies what Siri accomplishes. Her work encompasses a range of animals (including bulls, deer, and wolves), as well as human forms. She describes her work as “contemporary, but semi-abstract; in paintings, it would be Impressionist.”
Siri begins her sculptures by arc welding recycled steel and likens the process to applying ink on canvas, where “every line counts.” If she adds a cement coating, the framework requires considerable reinforcement. She extends her repertoire with wall pieces that resemble the outlines of her subject. She prefers working in life-size scale, but has made pieces as small as one foot. One of her largest sculptures is a 20-foot stallion installed at Spain’s Malaga Airport when she was just 17 years old. Multiple exhibitions and installations in hotels and public venues in Spain and North America include Windsor Sculpture Park in Windsor, Canada; Ojai Valley Inn in Ojai, CA; and 17 life-size horses at New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe.