Bastion is a new work from John Grade composed of two sculptures, one wood and one cast iron. The piece is currently on display at the Columbia Engineering Facility in Portland, OR.
“Central to John Grade’s work over the past decade are issues of irrevocable change and natural disintegration. Grade’s sculptures are built from a combination of traditional materials like wood, resin and clay paired with novel polymers like corn and potato based resins and binderless paper castings. Departing from the Earthworks model of shaping the landscape itself as a sculptural medium, Grade has become known for extrapolating organic motifs and materials into works that rejoin the land via decay. His sculptures are often immersed for extended periods of time in tidal bays, the high desert, or snow-fields. Their slow decay is charted and documented via drawings, photographs, video and, ultimately, the transformed materials. Inspired by the erosion of the natural landscape, Grade hands over control of his art to this inevitable decomposition – a process that Grade describes as “an interesting conversation” between the landscape and the sculpture. Inspired by nature, Grade does not simply mimic its shapes, forms, and textures. Rather it is as if in making his work, the artist is trying to communicate with nature by deciphering its “language.” He gives his work to the natural world—as an offering of sorts—to see what kind of message he might receive in return.”
– Alison Ferris, Curator (for Capacitor project), Kohler Art Center, WI. 2013