Essentially, my work is concerned with the evocation of spiritual or primal states, using simple organic forms, often in suggestive conjunctions that elaborate metaphorically primary issues of ambiguity, morality, accident/intention, contradiction or even existence. Frequently there is an allusion to circumstance, contextual usage, and time as a condition of the work, but it appears in a peripheral, indirect, or generalized way, never specific or obvious. I have chosen by personal evolution to use forms and images that appear to be part of some culture with an elaborate mythological structure, never quite defined, but evidently interrelated. I am concerned with the intellectual speculation that we make regarding other cultures, especially primitive or ancient ones based on our observation of their artifacts. This anthropological perception is a key issue in my work.
Formally, I use relatively simple sculptural images, sometimes static like monuments, other times active, dynamic forms that suggest some usage, often ritualistic. I also tend to use materials and processes that imply cultural attitudes that are harmonious with nature and the passage of time. Clay has the most associative power in archeological terms and easily responds to the expressive needs of my ideas as well as being rather permanent and durable. Wood, stone, fiber, bone, and some found objects also work effectively as materials charged with connotative powers in this context. Hopefully, each element, as well as the whole body of work, contributes to the total effect of rediscovering an artifact that is evidently outside of our culture at one level, but reflects a kind of universal human consciousness and ultimately stimulates the perception of our own personal existence.
Danville Chadbourne was born in Bryan, Texas in 1949. He received a BFA in 1971 from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and an MFA in 1973 from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. After teaching studio art and art history at the college level for 17 years at various institutions, Chadbourne quit teaching 1989 to devote himself full-time to his art. He has exhibited extensively at both state and national levels, including more than 75 one-person exhibitions. His work is included in numerous private and public collections. Chadbourne was featured in the November 2010 issue of Sculpture Magazine, and in the February 2010 and January 2006 issues of Ceramics Monthly.
Primarily a sculptor in clay and wood, Chadbourne works in a range of materials and in both two- and three-dimensional formats. Over the years he has created a complex body of work unified by a primal iconography and artifact-like quality emerging from a very personal and consistent formal, aesthetic and philosophical sense. He has lived in San Antonio, Texas since 1979.