Derrick Piens

Shot of Art: It is what it is

It's always a bit difficult to describe and review art that verges on the non-representational, and even more so when the work in question is sculpture. What, after all, constitutes good sculpture if the point isn't to faithfully recreate some real-life object? Lacking criteria, one tends to turn toward the emotional registers that a given piece might evoke. Though there's nothing wrong with this strategy, I've always been of the mind that the best abstract sculptures are those that stimulate the imagination.

When I look at Derrick Piens work, for instance, I don't see blobs of plaster and plywood. Walking around Peak Gallery, I catch glimpses of human anatomy — a bone cluster here, a heart valve there — or perhaps even the very building blocks of life. These sculptures may not easily reveal their nature, but the degree to which they provoke wonder is their greatest delight.

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It Is What It Is runs until November 13th.

Photos by Jesse Milns


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