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"Begging Dog" (detail), 2021, steel, leather and plastic, 20” x 18” x 10”
Dallas-based artist Clayton Hurt is exhibiting several collages from the past few years and recent sculptures primarily depicting dogs. Hurt explores the relationship between the material and the nature of the subject in both bodies of work.
Hurt continues his work with animals. The sculptures chronicle the mundane daily life of a house dog, as it sleeps all day until greeting you at the door when you return home. Artworks on the wall become background imagery for what might be the dog's dreams or just the owner's tacky taste. The abstract collages called glove “paintings” are made from new and used leather on panel. The animal forms are welded steel armatures covered in discarded work gloves given to the artist by other sculptors who used them to weld and create art.
Hurt’s art spans many media, and though it appears eclectic, there are strong motifs running throughout. The dog sculptures have a gritty nature, as they come from used leather scraps. The leather that forms them links to the glove “paintings,” which have become higher-end objects, made from colored manufactured leather used for fashion and furniture design. The tension between the abstract compositions and the connotations of the real-world material and daily actions of the animal forms ultimately comes back to the notions of struggle and humor present in Hurt’s work.
“If you want the best seat in the house, you’ll have to move the dog.”
On view at Redbud East Gallery from June 5 through August 31, 2021. [Organizer's description]