'Embrace' Richard Rhodes

July 29, 2013

Richard Rhodes has the noble distinction of being the first non-Italian admitted into Siena's ancient masonic guild in 726 years. He is known throughout the sculpture and stone community as the "last apprentice." It was during his guild training that he first encountered the Sacred Geometries and the Sacred Rules of Bondwork, foundational knowledge from the 4,000-year tradition of stone expression. Though now branching into other media such as cast bronze, Rhodes credits his guild training as the major influence in his sculptural practice.

Rhodes continues to explore the relationship between art, architecture and the human experience. Primarily working in granite or high-density limestone, his work is deeply textural, relying principally on the expressive hand finishes wrought with the hammer and chisel. Typically working larger than human scale, Rhodes explores mass with deceptively simple compositional gestures.

"Embrace", part of Rhodes' Sentinel Series, was featured in the Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions at both Bondi (2012) and Cottesloe (2013).

Due to his participation in these fantastic exhibitions we now have access to this fantastic work. It is certainly a rare occasion to be able to offer a work of this scale by one of the world's leading stone sculptors.

What I do really do like about Richard's work is his ability to create something quite delicate that defies the sheer mass of the material. These are quite monolithic pieces he has produced, yet the way they overlap and touch is so tender.

UK art critic Tom Flynn (The Sculpture Agency) had this to say about the Cottesloe exhibition and Rhodes' piece:

"The promenade's surrounding lawns are clearly the prime real estate at the Cottesloe Exhibition, enjoyed this year by, among others, illustrious participants such as leading Chinese artists Chen Wenling and Sui Jianguo, British heavyweight Sir Anthony Caro and American artist Richard Rhodes...

...Seattle-based Sculptor and designer Richard Rhodes' Embrace: Sentinel Series, comprising two chunky interlocking forms in carved granite, was among the few truly stand-out works, beautifully executed and open to multiple readings. It seemed perfectly at home overlooking the ocean. Brancusi would have liked it."