ane Winkler,Steeing Sail: Gettin’ Outta Dodge, 2015. Reclaimed Douglas fir, fabricated steel, patina, screen print on canvas, and video/sound loop, 112 x 48 x 96 in.

Dane Winkler

Washington, DC

Hamiltonian Gallery

Growing up as the fifth of six children on a working farm in upstate New York is not often the springboard to an artistic vocation. In Dane Winkler’s case, his rural childhood is a constant wellspring of inspiration. “Chassis,” the sculptural half of two solo exhibitions at Hamiltonian Gallery, where Winkler is a Fellow, combined two large-scale sculptures with boyhood dreams. Along with growing vegetables and animal husbandry, Winkler learned how to build. His sculptural work represents re-skilling instead of de-skilling. His materials are often reclaimed and very personal, such as the bundles of raw wool used in the construction of A-L-I-C-E. This 600-pound, steel crane structure contains a motor that periodically causes the suspended wool to rotate, fanning out into space. The wool is sourced from sheep on the family farm, and the work is named for a favorite cow, the first Winkler saw slaughtered as a child. He doesn’t recall this as a traumatic incident, but as the beginning of his understanding that death is part of the natural course of life. The height and heft of the wool, combined with the kinetics of the sculpture, give the uncanny effect of an actual animal presence. Setting Sail: Gettin’ Outta Dodge, a simply designed, fastidiously crafted, operational boat, was accompanied by a video showing Winkler’s construction methods, which involve a refreshing lack of technology and industrial fabrication. …see the entire review in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.