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Richard David Sigmund at Art Merge Lab

March 16, 2013 by Megan Koester in Upcoming Events with 0 Comments

Art Merge Lab is proud to present Los Angeles-based artist Richard David Sigmund in his first gallery solo exhibition. Opening March 19th, with a reception taking place from 5PM to 8:30PM, and running through May 2nd, Richard David Sigmund: Drawing and Sculpture features selections from each of the artist’s distinct but interrelated bodies of work, all displaying Sigmund’s characteristic use of geometric abstraction, executed with painstaking precision in monochrome or black and white. Sigmund’s pristine forms evoke a simple serenity reflecting the influence of the ancient Buddhist religious structure, the stupa, which are sites of meditation and contemplation and provide an ongoing source of inspiration for the artist.

Richard David Sigmund, Pencil on Paper

Richard David Sigmund, Pencil on Paper

While inspired by ancient spiritual monuments, Sigmund’s work also contains a light-footed sense of playfulness. With impeccable finish, Sigmund has abstracted and reinterpreted these ancient structures, evoking precious votive or reliquary objects as well as pop art and modernist abstraction, while seducing the viewer with their pristine, unadorned form.

His sculptures, for example, look like they could be game pieces. Made of wood, they include a set of eight one-foot tall, unpainted columnar pieces alluding to the eight great stupas of Tibetan Buddhism and two larger, three-foot tall works one painted solid, candycolored pink, the other powder blue. Their forms are broadly reminiscent of the pawn on a chessboard, but are actually drawn from the typically mound-like shape and crowning spire of the stupa.

Richard David Sigmund, Stupas of Body, Complete Set

Richard David Sigmund, Stupas of Body (Complete Set)

In contrast to Sigmund’s sculptures, with their clean outlines and surface finish, Sigmund’s drawings bear the trace of the artist’s hand. Though the artist’s preference is for solid graphic silhouetted shapes laid out in symmetrical or balanced compositions, floating in negative space, when the viewer examines his drawings closely, the whole of his extremely labor-intensive process is revealed in the rich complexity of his textures and layers of repeatedly applied graphite.

For Sigmund, drawing itself is, as he puts it, “a meditative practice, a physical activity that focuses and then transforms energy.” In the circular movement of the artist’s hand and the rounded and columnar shapes he favors, the work recalls the rounded form of the stupa and the fact that a meditative state, called circumambulation, is attained by repeatedly walking around these sacred structures. Complimenting the reflective mood of Sigmund’s work will be an exhibition design that inspires serenity through low, atmospheric lighting and re-imagines the gallery as a modern sanctuary.

Richard David Sigmund, Stupas of Mind #1

Richard David Sigmund, Stupas of Mind #1

Included in the exhibition are selections from Sigmund’s Simplicity Drawing series, India Drawing series, and his most recent Votive Stupa series.

Art Merge Lab
Pacific Design Center, Suite B257 (2nd Floor)
8687 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90069

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About Megan Koester

Megan Koester is a Los Angeles-based writer who's irrationally obsessed with comedy, cocktails and Californian culture (as well as alliteration). According to The Huffington Post, she's one of 18 Funny Women You Should Be Following on Twitter (assuming that sort of thing impresses you). You can follow her @BornFeral.

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