Stan Book seems very reticent to toot his own horn but I have found that his work speaks well in his stead. Stan holds a Master’s of Art degree from Claremont College and spent some years not only creating but teaching the arts in Southern California. After retiring with his wife Judy to Prescott and building his home just southwest of downtown he has taken up sculpture to express himself. We are fortunate.
Stan will tell you that his work is made up of discards, waste, and junk steel but those raw materials are transformed into lyrical sometimes romantic forms that converse in pure gold. Of the pieces showing in the current show at A Small Art Gallery I would like to tell you about one in particular. It’s not a monumental piece but it encompasses a whole world in its small frame.
Abstract Landscape 1 is presented on a small but classical steel plinth no more than 3 inches tall and 12 inches wide. From that solid base, Book has created the mountains, the sky, the moon and clouds all in the space of no more than 6 additional inches.
The gestures in metal are spare, a few layers of plate, a found half circle, some welding slag that’s been ground and polished. The broken jagged edge of waste steel carves out a mountain ridge, a welding joint hints, no, shouts out, at clouds that hide the top half of a rising moon.
Like Stan, the piece is understated, likewise there are volumes spoken.
If you haven’t had the chance to see the show at the gallery, do yourself a favor and come in. Both Stan and I would appreciate it.