Glisan, 2006. Painted wood and aluminum, 17.75 x 26.75 x 15.75 in.

Formal Invention: Richard Rezac

Richard Rezac casts and constructs small sculptures in nickel-plated bronze, steel, aluminum, hydrostone (gypsum cement), painted wood, and other materials. Because drawing is central to his creative process, he often shows two- and three-dimensional works together. His recent exhibition at the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which featured 10 sculptures and five drawings dating from 2003 to 2008, offered considerable variety and gave a sense of this unique artist at work. Rezac has a recognizable style, but he does not work in the usual format of families or series. Much of his work hovers between two dimensions and three: parts seem to be missing from some sculptures, and some can appear deliberately awkward.

In many ways though, Rezac is a traditional sculptor. He casts his work or constructs it with tools, employing echoes, identical forms in opposition, and contrasting materials. His influences include Cycladic, Greek, and Roman sculpture, Brancusi, and Donald Judd, although there’s too much variety and accident in Rezac’s work to count him as a Minimalist. Rezac is distinctive in his determination to make fresh formal inventions with every sculpture. “Invention—finding something I haven’t seen before—is important to me and is at the heart of what I do,” he says. He does much more experimentation—and makes much more truly new work—than many sculptors. He challenges us to keep up with him. …see the entire article in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.