Thursday, January 6, 2011

Paul Bowen

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One of my favorite contemporary artists is sculptor Paul Bowen.  A new show of his work is opening this week at the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Mass.  If you're in the area between now and January 30, you should make it a point to stop by to see his work.


I first saw Paul's work several years ago at the DeCordova Museum and immediately fell in love with it.  I repeated his name over and over so I could research his work but I'd forgotten his name by the time I got home.  Don't you hate that?  

Fast forward a few a years when I visited Provincetown to take a white line woodblock printing course and found his work at Artstrand, an artist-run gallery in town.  


Most, if not all of this wood, was found washed up on the shores of Cape Cod.  I love that these materials that have already had a life (fish crates, boats, wharves) are tossed and turned by salt water, rocks and sand and then spit back on land and given a new life through an artist's vision and hand.

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The butterfly shaped pieces hold two pieces of wood together.  Paul often uses this butterfly joint in his work.



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Paul also works in other media.  These pieces are made of old marine flags.  The dragger shapes are an icon of Paul's print work.

This marine flag piece reminds me of old Kuba cloth.

Paul and his wife, a writer whose name is escaping me, moved a few years ago from Cape Cod to Vermont.  Since then, Paul's work is taking on new forms and objects collected from his new rural environment.

This is one of the pieces that will be in the new show.  It's hard to imagine from the photo but it's about 4 feet high by 8 feet wide.  I can't wait to see it in person.

If you visit the gallery, there are also a lot of other things to do in the area.  You could make an entire day out of it.  Here are a few of my suggestions.

The Walter Gropius house is a spectacular example of mid-20th-Century modern architecture.

The galleries are closed from January 10 to 28 but it has...

...35 acres of beautiful rolling woodland with 75 works of art, open from dawn to dusk, that would be a beautiful walk on a sunny winter's day.   

And if you haven't had enough of the outdoors, Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond is just a few miles away.  Everyone should walk around it once in their lives. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing Paul's work.  

145 Lincoln Road
Lincoln, MA  01773


  1. LOVE this post and his work, especially his flags and his new large work! I will Definitely go to the exhibit. More art posts please. : )

  2. I'm a couple of states below you, so I will not be able to visit. THANK you for sharing this! I am smitten with the wood sculptures, and truly inspired by the marine flag.

  3. The talent of some people just takes my breath away. I so admire people who can see and create beauty out of ordinary things.
    I especially like the butterfly one with the looks like a kite.
    I'd love to see more art posts too -

    I went to the Andrew Wyeth home/museum last spring and was so taken back by his Helga you know much about him?

  4. Wow, really beautiful. Thanks for the introduction. I second the vote for more art if you are into it. I love learning about art and I never take the time to do it. Glad to see a post. Was wondering where you were!

  5. Beautiful post. Windrush...gorgeous.
    I walked Walden's Pond 3 summers ago with Andrea and Taylor. I picked and ate wild blueberries on the side of the path. They were very concerned that I was eating something I shouldn't. I'm still here, I guess they really were blueberries. It's such a wonderful experience!

  6. I love those works! They fit with the look you are going for in your home. Those places you show look wonderful and I would love to see them.

  7. hi steve,

    when sarah and i come to visit will you take us to walden pond?


  8. I've heard of him, Steve--a friend who teaches at the FAWC in the summer saw his work & raved about it. Thank you for posting this!

  9. Stopping by to wish you a very happy new year!
    I hope 2011 brings you much happiness!

  10. This is a wonderful post, Steve. We made a pilgrimage to Walden Pond a few years ago as Peter is a huge Thoreau fan, (and has two doorstop editions of his journals to prove it!)
    What's not to love about artists who work in wood!

  11. Steve, your posts are always so wonderful! I am late here but i am in love with this work.

    Thanks again for inspiring me!


  12. Hi Steve, These are wonderful, beyond beautiful, and so very me. Thank you for letting me know about this artist. By the way I like the guest room just the way it is. Your house is truly coming together and I know it was not easy or cheap, been there, done that, actually not even half of what you did. Keep up the good work.

  13. Thanks for the idea, I'm just a short drive from Lincoln. Have a great day.

  14. What beautiful work. I too appreciate that his pieces have already lived one life.
    Thanks for sharing

  15. New to your blog; love the clean, spare, classic lines of what you see.

  16. Ahh...memories of Walden Pond...I walked there more times than I can remember with my parents. We would take beautiful Sunday strolls around then pond and visit the Old Manse.