Styx Edward Falkenberg, RCA

Charred Willow Wood and Steel
70 × 51 × 14 inches
177.8 × 129.54 × 35.56 cm

Wide triangular base, textured with incised lines then charred and oiled into a rich black, rises from the ground to meet a weathered iron shackle topped with a sliced round of black wood and a steel rod crescent. This piece angles and sails forward into space. Falkenberg is an established Canadian sculptor with roots in modern constructivism. Constructivism is an early 20th century movement that grew from the practice of Russian and eastern European sculptors. Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo were noted for their industrial geometric work that broke from traditional carved sculpture to explore pure form, materials, positive and negative space. Falkenberg, introduced to these modern concepts and forms early in his career, evolved to merge the modern constructivist vision with narrative. In this piece, the shapes and materials suggestive of hull, sail and tackle are framed by the narrative of Dante’s Inferno, a 14th century epic poem in which a boatman ferries souls across the River Styx to their demise. Falkenberg, RCA, attended the Ontario College of Art and graduated in Industrial Design in 1965. Numerous solo and group exhibitions of his sculptures have brought national acclaim. His work is part of corporate and public collections including Imperial Oil, Orfus Investments and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. In 2004, Falkenberg co-founded the Durham West Arts Centre, a self-sustaining public art centre in West Durham, Ontario. Commissions include Canadian Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, University of Ontario, Institute of Technology, Pickering Town Centre, Presidents Choice Office Tower, Government of Ontario, Dept. of Public Works, Bell Canada Data Centre and the Cadillac Development Corporation.

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