Elegant Embodiments: David Engdahl

3 Aug

I have not tried to reproduce nature, I have represented it.

— Paul Cezanne

Never where these words more true than in the work of sculptor, David Engdahl.  The former architect has been shaping wood to create beautiful sculptures for over twenty years.  Inspired by the forms in the environment surrounding his home in north Florida, Engdahl takes his cue from organic shapes, simplifying or exaggerating them to create elegant embodiments of the natural world.

Lamelliform 128

Using plywood, a mechanically manipulated natural material to create these organically inspired sculptures creates a dynamic tension between the material and inspiration source.  By taking a normally lower level type of wood source and creating spledid sculptures, Engdahl is not only taking something “ugly” and making it beautiful, but also hearkening back to the wood’s original forms.

Lamelliform #91

Lamelliform #21

The beauty in nature is all around us.  But we rarely notice it, much less ponder it.  Engdahl’s work may help us recall the glimpse of  antlers in the woods, the shadow of a sea turtle making its way across the surface of the deep or the swaying of thin branches in the breeze.

Lamelliform #200

He brings nature and artifice together in a way that reminds us that they can work together to reveal the best in each.

To see more of David Engdahl’s work online, visit his website. Be sure to check out this wonderful video in which the artist explains his creative process and give you a glimpse inside his home studio.  If you’re in the North Florida area, stop by Studio 121 at 121 W. Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, where he will be the featured artist, August through October.

Featured image is Lamelliform #194.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

3 Responses to “Elegant Embodiments: David Engdahl”

  1. RiverSea Gallery August 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Lesley-
    I just came across your amazing art blog and your visit to our gallery in Astoria. Thanks so much for the nice mention and photos of RiverSea and some of the artists we represent, also for highlighting a couple other galleries here. We have a vibrant arts community in this small town, and we’re thrilled that you took in some of the highlights.
    I can’t wait to browse through all your other art finds and your links. I’m signing up to your email list right now.
    By the way, we have a full exhibit of new paintings by Charles Schweiger opening August 6th. Check out the exhibits page on our website at http://www.RiverSeaGallery.com.
    Thanks again for spreading some north coast arts love!
    Jeannine Grafton
    RiverSea Gallery, Astoria

    • Lesley August 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Jeannine!
      Thanks so much for visiting and letting me know you stopped by. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog– you have a fantastic gallery there in Astoria! A diverse and well-curated selection of talent. My husband and I are planning a day trip to Astoria while my mother-in-law is visiting at the end of the month. We’ll definitely be stopping in to see the Charles Schweiger exhibit! Would love to meet you if you’re around when we stop by!

      All the best,

  2. RiverSea Gallery August 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Hey Lesley-
    I’d love to meet you. Just alert me when you’re planning to stop in.

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