Casting my own work in bronze has enabled me to be aware of the variations that can occur at each step of the casting process that I then can incorporate into my work. The evolution of my sculptural forms has been affected by the different structural and textural possibilities inherent in the clay and the wax. Ultimately it is the unique quality of the bronze that has most profoundly influenced the direction of my work.”
Carol Gold was born in Hartford, Connecticut and grew up on a dairy farm in western Massachusetts. Between 1956 and 1960 she studied art at Cornell University, Boston University and the Museum School in Boston, but it wasn’t until 14 years later, when her children were old enough for her to return to sculpting full time, that her work began to develop and change.
Bronze casting techniques learned at the college of Marin in 1977 and 1978 enabled Carol to build her own foundry, outside of San Francisco, CA which she operated for 12 years. This intimacy with the entire casting process profoundly affected the evolution of her sculpture. She began to think in terms of the potential of the metal and started to use wax as her creative medium rather than the clay of her initial sculptures.
Simplicity is an important concern in her continuous search for forms with to best express motion and mood using the human figure and an occasional animal as subject matter.
For the past twenty years, Carol’s work has been widely exhibited in the u.s. and Canada. Her sculpture has received numerous awards at national exhibitions including the National Sculpture Society and the North American Sculpture Exhibition, as well as receiving public art commissions including the Bakersfield City Center Project in Bakersfield, California; the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas; the Entry to the City of Bellflower, CA; Paramount, CA; and Pittsfield, MA.
PRESENTLY: Full Time, Self-Employed Sculptor Fairfax, CA
BORN: 1937 Hartford, CT
- 1987 Travel and Stone Carving Spain
- 1960-61 Museum School Boston, MA
- 1958-60 Boston University School of Fine Arts Boston, MA
- 1955-58 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
COMMISSIONS AND AWARDS:
- 2017 “Time” Roundabout, Commission Bend, OR
- 2015 “Conversation” First Congregational Church, with unique granite benches Boulder, CO
- 2013 “Infinite Dance” Pittsfield Town Common, Commission Pittsfield, MA
- 2013 “Belle” City of Bellflower, Commission Bellflower, CA
- 2010 “Time” North Central Michigan College, Commission Petoskey, MI
- 2008 “Conversation” Park of the Four Portals, Commission Paramount, CA
- 2007 “Story Teller” Whittwood Branch Public Library, Commission Whittier, CA
- “Communion” Thompson Crossing Sculpture Park, Commission Windsor, CO
- 2007 ‘Best in Show’ Sculpture at the River Market Invitational Exhibition Little Rock, AR
- 2006 “Fiesta” City of Cerritos Cerritos, CA
- 2004 “Fiesta” City of Loveland, Benson Park Loveland, CO
- 2004 “Fiesta” Clinton Presidential Library, Commission Little Rock, AR
- 1999 “Wind” Southwestern Oregon Community College Coos Bay, OR
- 1991 “Wind” City of Bakersfield, City Center Project, Commission Bakersfield, CA
- 1989 ‘John Cavanaugh Memorial Award’, National Sculpture Society New York, NY
- ‘John Cavanaugh Memorial Award’, N. American Sculpture Exhibit Golden, CO
- 1988 ‘Award Winner’, Bay Arts 188 Burlingame, CA
- 1982 ‘Colorado Sculpture Award’, N. American Sculpture Exhibit Golden, CO
- 1981 ‘Beyond Bronze Award’, N. American Sculpture Exhibit Golden, CO
- 2004 Jul “The Gold Standard”, Bonnie Gangelhoff Southwest Art
- 2004 Jul Cover Art, “Fiesta” Southwest Art
- 1993 Sept “She finds her Strength in Art”, Richard Polito Marin Independent Journal
- 1991 Dec “Artist Unveils Sculpture ‘Wind’ “, Richard Chon Bakersfield Californian
- 1991 Jul “Sculpture Offers Modern, Primitive”, Richard Chon Bakersfield Californian
- 1989 Fall “NSS In Soho… 56th Annual Exhibition”, Marion Roller Sculpture Review
- 1988 Oct “Bay Arts 188” Winifred Ehren Bay Nites
- 1988 Jun “Art”, Irene M.K. Rawlings The Denver Post
- 1987 Fall “Foothills Art Prepares for Tenth Annual Exhibit”, Leonda Finke Sculpture Review
- 1985 Aug “Sausalito: High Tech & Down Home” Phyllis Bragdon Marin/Sonoma Journal
SELECT DESIGN TEAM PARTICIPANTS PAST & PRESENT:
- John Kinkade, National Sculptors’ Guild, Site Design/Installation Loveland, CO
- Greg Hebert Landscape Architect, Landscape/Site Design San Diego, CA
- Douglas Rutledge, KL&A Inc., Structural Engineering Loveland, CO
- Gregory P. Luth & Associates, Structural Engineering Santa Clara, CA
- Advanced Aquatic Technology Inc., Fountain Engineering Orange, CA
- Jafe T. Parsons, Photography Loveland, CO
- 1994-16 National Sculptors’ Guild Annual Exhibition, Columbine Gallery Loveland, CO
- 1995-16 Sculpture in the Park, National Juried Exhibition Loveland, CO
- 2007-12 Sculpture at the River Market Invitational Exhibition Little Rock, AR
- 2003 Two-Person Show, Columbine Galleries Santa Fe, NM
- 2001 Two-Person Show, Columbine Galleries Santa Fe, NM
- 1997 Two-Person Show, Columbine Galleries Loveland, CO
- Two-Person Show, Rice and Falkenberg Gallery Palm Beach, FL
- Fenn Gallery Santa Fe, NM
- 1996 Rice and Falkenberg Gallery Palm Beach, FL
- 1995 Solo-Show, Michael Himovitz Gallery Sacramento, CA
- Jill Vickers Gallery Aspen, CO
- 1994 Two-Person Show, Stary-Sheets Gallery Irvine, CA
- 1993 “Women in Bronze”, ArtWorks Gallery Berkeley, CA
- 1991 “Laughter… All That Your Art Desires”, Syntex Gallery Palo Alto, CA
- Two-Person Show, Pence Gallery Davis, CA
- 1990 Three-Person Show, Stary-Sheets Gallery Irvine, CA
- Two-Person Show, Michael Himovitz Gallery Irvine, CA
- 1989 National Sculpture Society Exhibition New York, NY
- North American Sculpture Exhibition Golden, CO
- 1988 Two-Person Show, Stary-Sheets Gallery Irvine, CA
- 1987 Two-Person Show, Stary-Sheets Gallery Irvine, CA
- 1985 Solo-Show, Himovitz/Salomon Gallery Sacramento, CA
- 1981-82, 84 North American Sculpture Exhibition Golden, CO
- 1981 Oberon Gallery Napa, CA
- 1980 Two-Person Show, Art Ovations Gallery San Francisco, CA
- 1979 “Women in Bronze”, Anna Gardner Gallery Stinson Beach, CA
- 1978 Rose/ Bernardi Gallery Sausalito, CA
- 1975 Elca London Gallery Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Gold Standard
Bonnie Gangelhoff /Southwest Art JUL 2004
Sculptor Carol Gold wrings strong emotions from her sleek bronze figures
EVERY JANUARY, California sculptor Carol Gold settles into her studio to begin the year anew with fresh ideas for her bronze pieces and a chunk of soft, hot wax with which to give them shape. Her ideas about the forms that will occupy her heart and hands over the next 12 months have percolated in her thoughts to some degree, but arise mostly from the unconscious, Gold says.
She squeezes, manipulates, and molds the wax, roughing in shapes as figures emerge-some large, some small, some flat, some rounded. Most of her forms represent the human figure, with the exception of a horse or two. “I think inspiration comes from a lot of places-from where I am emotionally as well as from nature,” Gold explains from her airy, 770-square-foot studio perched on a hillside in Northern California. “My work is also informed by what`s going on in the world and what I read.”
Last year, for instance, Gold says her work was directly affected by the turmoil in the world, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the events leading up to it. “I had this feeling all last year that what I needed to do was create tranquil pieces,” she says. “Some artists may respond to what`s going on in the world with anger, but I just can`t do that. I needed my sculptures to be an antidote to the chaos.”
TRANQUILITY and EMBRACE, both created in 2003, are two of her most peaceful pieces-ones that Gold describes as “calm and loving.” In TRANQUILITY, a relaxed figure sits staring into space as if looking out a window on a beautiful day. In EMBRACE, two people wrap their arms around each other in a display of tender affection. The latter bronze also is an example of how Gold is influenced by what she reads. After finishing the book War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning [2003 ANCHOR] by Chris Hedges, the sculptor was deeply moved by one of the points the author kept stressing. Hedges, a veteran war correspondent for The New York Times, explains in the book that while covering many wars and trying to survive in various war zones-including being ambushed in Central America and imprisoned in the Sudan-the only place he ever felt safe was in the home of a loving couple or family. “EMBRACE came out of that sense of a safe place in the midst of war,” Gold says.
Of the many themes woven through Gold`s work, perhaps the most common is communication. Her sculptures often include two figures as in EVENING WALK, ARTTALK, and FIESTA. The moods the sculptor evokes in these twosomes are amazingly varied-from the contemplative, restful depiction of a couple strolling in EVENING WALK to the joyous dance captured in FIESTA. Gold manages to squeeze living, breathing emotion out of cold, hard bronze, whether it`s tenderness of spirit as in EMBRACE or the arrogant poses of two figures in ART TALK.
THERE ARE FEW CLUES in Gold`s sophisticated pieces to reveal her personal roots. Her sleek, contemporary figures are a far artistic cry from growing up on a dairy farm in western Massachusetts. About the only trace of her childhood that a viewer glimpses is through the horses that emerge in her work every now and then. As a girl, Gold spent countless hours riding through the countryside, enjoying the calm and solitude. “I would get on my horse, and all of my anxieties would melt away,” she recalls. Today her bronze equines are remnants of those bygone days. Now, as then, the horses represent freedom to the artist. “They were my only mode of escape as a child,” she explains.
In addition to a fondness for roaming the countryside on her horse, Gold`s other main interests in her youth were drawing and poring over her parents` book on the history of painting. “At one point my mom gave me art lessons, but I was always more interested in animals,” she recalls.
When she headed to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Gold was bent on studying veterinary medicine. But her entire world spun in a different direction one day when she signed up for an art history class. After a few hours in class, she was sure that all she ever wanted to pursue was art. Gold quickly changed her major to art and architecture but encountered some rocky patches in subsequent classes. She wanted to learn more about technique, but it was fashionable in the art department then to focus on self-expression. Married at the time, Gold and her husband moved to Boston, MA, after three years at Cornell. She transferred to Boston University, where her artistic desires were met with a more welcome attitude in the fine-arts department. “It was a breath of fresh air,” Gold says. “I just wanted to learn the basics like stretching canvas and printmaking first, just the tools I needed in the beginning.”
In 1968 Gold moved to California, where she has remained ever since. When her four children were young, she worked at their elementary school as an assistant to a sculpting teacher. By 1972 she was sculpting full time, working first with clay. Three-dimensional forms have always held more allure for Gold, moving her in a way that painting and other two-dimensional artworks have failed to do. Likewise, figures in art have usually had an emotional impact on her, while nonobjective art rarely engages her with quite the same intensity.
Gold`s work has evolved over the past two decades as she moved from clay to wax about 10 years ago. “Clay was too earthbound,” she says. “Wax gives me a chance to be more expressive in my forms.” While experimenting with wax she has developed a technique for incorporating pieces of burlap, which allows her to fully realize one of what she calls her “two basic sculpting vocabularies”-flat, nude figures and draped figures. Because wax is easier to manipulate than clay, the material goes a long way in helping Gold convey emotions and mood. And using wax enables her to “sketch in” figures rapidly when her ideas are taking shape at the beginning of the year. The sculptor creates about 30 such shapes, but by the end of the year only six or seven will survive and be cast in bronze. “They need to really strike me as far as the mood I am trying to convey, or I will throw them away,” she says.
Another signature Gold element is the stunningly rich patinas on her bronze pieces, in colors that range from earthy gold and copper tones to various shades of turquoise that often evoke a southwestern flavor. As this story went to press, the sculptor was preparing works for the prestigious Sculpture in the Park show, held every August in Loveland, CO [see page 74]. Her piece FIESTA is also scheduled for installation in Lovelanci`s Benson Sculpture Park this summer.
Gold isn`t fond of speculating about what ideas she will explore in the future, except to say that communication is always a reoccurring theme. For now, she`s content to read, share opinions, pay attention to the world at large, and have faith that when a hunk of wax is set before her, her unconscious will light the way.
Gold is represented by Bronze Coast Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR; Savage Stephens Contemporary Art Works, Carmel, CA; Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, CA, and New York, NY; and Columbine Gallery, Loveland, CO, and Santa Fe, NM.
“I think inspiration comes from a lot of places-from where I am emotionally as well as from nature.”
EMBRACE, BRONZE, 14 × 7 × 3 ½.
FIESTA, BRONZE, 29 ½ × 36 × 9.
ART TALK, BRONZE, 17 × 15 × 8.
CELEBRATION, BRONZE, 19 ½ × 12 × 6.
KOBILA, BRONZE, 23 × 25 × 9.
Boiuiie Gangelhoff is the senior editor of Southwest Art.
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