Samhin, 1996. Cherry and oak, 8 x 9.5 x 14.75 ft. Courtesy the artist.

Tom Doyle: Allegories of Time, Space, and Nature

The manner in which one circumambulates a Tom Doyle sculpture is very special. One moves through it and around it at the same time. These forms are meant for graceful viewing, a dance with nature, inspired by the kind of structural indices that incite metaphysical thought. In fact, Doyle’s sculpture is as lyrical as it is metaphysical. It settles somewhere in between. I find Doyle no less a formalist than a metaphysician. At the same time, I don’t read these cut-wood beams as being “cool” in the way that formalism detaches itself from the emotions. Rather, they are assembled and constructed as reductive aggregates. In contrast to the trend of nihilistic devolution in sculpture today, Doyle’s forms are not involved with mindless excess. Instead, they offer a type of lucid refinement that gets to the presence of nature through the absence of volume. They contain warmth and a strong even-handedness. His forms are consummate in their openness. Working primarily in hardwood, sometimes in stone, and occasionally in bronze, Doyle introduces structural elements that are as much related to the mind as they are to the senses. His rapturous constructions are built on a poetic system of thought, coy offerings that extend space outward and inward simultaneously.