International Sculpture Center
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DIRECTORY

Wendy Klemperer

Cool Grey
2005
30 X 30 X 15"
Wax

I first learned to work with wax for bronze casting, but the lifelike texture of wax often appealed to me more than the hard, final, bronze version. So I developed a way to make permanent pieces in this delicate medium. I melt white microcrystalline wax in a pot, and add paint, pouring out thin sheets to create a palette of various separate colors. Modeling the wax like clay, I build it hollow in layers over a simple wire armature. Using a propane torch to heat tools (a spoon, a butter knife) I carve and melt the surface, blending colors. Complexity and beautiful accidents can happen. The form is built in layered colors with subtle textures, exploring the painterly side of sculpture. The surface is a living skin, with varied thickness, pierced and broken here and there, allowing glimpses of the interior. When finished, I brush the surface with a clear urethane resin for a hard, protective coating. While evincing my lifelong study of animal behavior and form (and recalling the plastic toys that acted in my childhood dramas) these pieces go beyond just naturalism, to explore gesture and emotion on an intimate scale at the intersection of painting and sculpture.