The art work of Daniel Grantham and David Leas fills the purposely spare space of the J. Costello Gallery in the Red Fish Building on Palmetto Bay Road. The exhibition — “Conversations in Visual Stimulation” — is a collection of more than forty contemporary sculptural pieces that are first, simply beautiful. But you must continue past beautiful to astonishing and thought provoking.
There are striking clusters of tall, graceful, twisting, needle-thin sculptures in woods such as cherry, blood wood, box elder or bald cypress. Grantham’s pieces are carefully formed, richly polished, and created in the brilliant colors found in nature.
Further on are Leas’ large, abstracted, two dimensional, sculptural wall pieces. The highly textured pieces are created in mixed medium, using acrylic and encaustic applications.
“I like to take my work and move it to the very edge, take it to the limit, ” said Grantham.
“It’s often when I’m in the middle of my work that I find myself exploring utterly new ideas,” he said. “ I come to that by way of my visionary eye,” he added with a sardonic smile.
Among his pieces are “Waterspout,” 76” x 11”, needle-thin in some places, and created in Tulip poplar wood. There’s also “Jellyfish,” 19” x 7 “ created in red cedar on maple.
Grantham said the two sculptors who influenced him most were Giacometti and Brancusi.
“It’s all about the work,” said Leas, peering out from under a floppy hat of well worn khaki fabric. “I’ve been taking some new creative directions, and I’m excited about the results and where this medium is taking me.”
The larger pieces, are created on a board made from a process employing recycled newspaper, called homosote or homosite ...plancher de planneau de fibres agglomeres. The board is strong, lightweight, and provides the base for his textural outcomes. In a video, I saw him working with a chain saw, and other tools, preparing the surfaces for additional applications of encaustic and color. Leas also uses wine filters, another recyclable.
Grantham and Leas attended art school at the Columbus School of Art and Design, where they met, and have remained in touch over the years.
“Conversations in Visual Stimulation,” the work of Daniel Grantham and David Leas, will continue at the gallery until June 16.
Artist, musician, teacher and writer Nancy K. Wellard focuses on portraying and promoting the cultural arts, first in Los Angeles and, for close to 30 years, in the Lowcountry. Email her at email@example.com.
J Costello Gallery
8 Archer Road
Redfish Building, Hilton Head Island ,
Hours: 12-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday – Saturday and Wednesday by appointment