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'Wide variety of work in single space'

By Michael McGuigan
On February 3, 2013


On Friday, The Benton Museum of Art opened an exhibition showcasing the work of local artist Garth Evans entitled "Garth Evans: Selections from the Studio."

The exhibit showcases Evans' work from the 1990s to present, and prominently displays sculptures by the artist. Also on display are various watercolors and paintings by the artist.    

Evans trained as an artist at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Upon completing his studies in 1960 Evans began his career as a sculptor and instructor. In 1979 he relocated to the United States eventually settling in New York City. Currently he resides in Woodstock, Conn. where he spends his time working on new pieces of art when not commuting to teach at The New York Studio School.  Over the decades Evans's work has evolved from early pieces such as "White Sphere" in 1968 and "Mute" from 1994-1995 to pieces such as "Little Dancer No. 48" from 2008.

The exhibition was designed by Ally Walton, an assistant curator at the Benton, in conjunction with Evans. The design of the exhibition centers on a raised platform, which showcases examples of Evans' sculpture. Evans said, "This is an unusual exhibition for me, since I don't usually exhibit a wide variety of work in a single space," making the creation of the exhibit a unique challenge for Walton and Evans.  

According to Walton the majority of works on display are from the 1990s to the present day, and are all drawn from Evans' personal collection. This period of work showcases Evans' transition to clay as his primary material while sculpting. The exhibition features works by Evans such as "Little Dancers," which are small abstract sculptures spread throughout the exhibit, watercolors, and abstract sculpted faces.  

Evans said, when asked if he had a purpose in mind for viewers to see while looking at his art, that  "You have a complex of purposes in mind. And it is up to the viewer to bring themselves to the work, and see what it means to them and not necessarily what it means to me." This advice is valuable when interpreting some of Evans's work due to its highly abstract nature.  Walton said that she came at the exhibit from a different perspective front the average viewer since she worked for months with Evans selecting works to exhibit. One of the things that she noted that appeared through most of the works was the materiality of the works.      

"Garth Evans: Selections from the Studio" is currently housed in The Evelyn Simon Gilman Gallery at the Benton and will be on display from Feb. 2 to April 28 , 2013. 

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