Art Lies, Volume 27, Summer 2000 Page: 76
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Ed Wilson: The Last Ten Years
J. D. Peppers: Are You Experienced?
Continued from pg. 75
melding liquid and lyrical shapes into an
essay on abstraction. While Wilson has a
sure grasp on his art, Peppers' oeuvre still
feels experimental. Part of this can be
explained by the Peppers' background.
The self-taught sculptor, a bit of a
recluse who works from his warehouse
studio in Galveston, has propelled him-
self from a space/aeronautic career into
life as an artist. Notwithstanding the
experimental criticism, there were some
strong pieces in evidence, boding an
artist of promise who has a firm techni-
cal understanding of his materials, but
who still needs to clarify his focus.
Two of his most interesting and
memorable offerings are kinetic. Troubled
and Confused are elegant sculptures that
belie their psychological titles. The
rhythmic Troubled, a v-shaped series of
stacked rhomboid forms, was a memo-
rable and perfectly poised geometricized
creation that recalls the primitive power
of Brancusi's Endless Column, with both
works sharing a repeated vertical stacking
of simple forms in space. In contrast, the
liquid spirals of Confused are all fluid
motion, suggesting giant tendrils waving
in the wind. Also successful-and sexily
succinct-was the tabletop piece,
Unselfish, a compact, gestural spatial essay
possessing a tensile clarity that showed
Peppers' prowess and promise.
Both exhibits were successful in
highlighting coexisting tendencies in
contemporary sculpture. Wilson, the
senior artist by nearly a decade, demon-
strates a memorable amalgamation of
metaphor, irony, and wit in his represen-
tational imagery. All that's missing for
Wilson is a wider audience and the crit-
ical recognition he deserves, and hope-
fully The Last Ten Years opened some
eyes. Peppers, whose approach in more
non-objective and open-ended, is still
searching for his unique take on abstrac-
tion. But Are You Experienced? indicated
strong chords of technical skill, real tal-
ent and underlying passion. It also takes
a lot of courage to work with sculpture as
simple lines in space, because like a min-
imal drawing, it's either right-on or real-
ly misses the mark. Are You Experienced?
demonstrated that Peppers is quite
capable of the former.
88" x 42" x 40"
Courtesy the artist and Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art
76 i ARTLIES SUMMER 2000
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Kalil, Susie & Bryant, John. Art Lies, Volume 27, Summer 2000, periodical, 2000; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth228057/m1/78/: accessed April 18, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .