Jonathan Prince Installs Monumental Work at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Jonathan Prince Studio is thrilled to announce the installation of a permanent sculpture at the newly completed research center for Brigham’s and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. A project administered by Cynthia-Reeves, Prince’s work was the top pick of the hospital’s board and donors, capping a year’s long search for an artwork to be sited in the center’s adjacent green space. The site required an uplifting, thoughtful, and timeless work – adjectives that aptly describe Prince’s piece, Disc Fragment, which is made of CorTen and stainless steel.  The sculpture is part of the artist’s Torn Steel series, which was last seen at solo exhibitions at the 590 Madison Avenue Sculpture Garden and at Christie’s Sculpture Plaza at 535 Madison Avenue in New York City.

Disc Fragment installed at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

Jonathan Prince's sculptures are formally concerned with exposing the latent power of stone or steel through large-scale, universally iconic forms. Ellipses, spheres, and cubes are intentionally interrupted by the artist's hand. One writer comments: "While Plato considered the objects of sensuous reality to be mere 'shadows' and saw perfection only in geometric forms apprehended by the intellect, Prince prefers a marriage of form and accident, the one complementing the other. And in this union - to borrow from Yeats -- a 'terrible beauty is born.' (Dorothy Joiner, Sculpture Magazine, August 2012)

Cynthia-Reeves represents an international roster of established artists who share a process-apparent sensibility in their art. The gallery is committed to artwork that demonstrates an authentic voice, an innovative use of materials and an appreciation of the mark in diverse media: site-based installation, video, sculpture, painting and works on paper. A sub-text to the gallery's program is artwork that celebrates the convergence of art and science, as well as a relationship to the natural world - a discourse essential to the examination of contemporary art and culture within the context of these broader challenges. 

Vestigial Block: From Private Origins to Public Placement

The first time Jonathan Prince saw Richard Serra's Berlin Block (for Charlie Chaplin) 1978, he was astounded by its paradoxical qualities: the sculpture was simple in form but its massive scale, the presence it had and the attention it demanded, had a profound impact on Prince. It was completely transporting. 

Prince recalls feeling as though he had discovered not a modern sculptural object, but an artifact unearthed from the distant past. For Prince, the sculpture conveyed a visceral sense of mystery and time. That feeling of having been in the presence of something ancient and unknown was the inspiration for Prince's sculpture entitled Vestigial Block, and it is imbued with these complicated projections.  It is as though the CorTen steel from which it is made has worn away over time, exposing an inner surface filled with some other form of matter, a mysterious history yet to be discovered. 

Vestigial Block, a monumental work which came from private origins, has found its final home in a prominent, public collection. 


Richard Serra 
Berlin Block (For Charlie Chaplin)
1978

Vestigial Block 
CorTen and Stainless Steel
6.25 x 6 x 6 feet 
2011
Exhibition view, IBM Atrium, New York City 

Vestigial Block in the permanent collection of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU

Vestigial Block was acquired by Edward J. Minksoff in 2013 and donated to the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU where it now sits in their permanent collection. In an article published that year, Robert Bao wrote, "'Sometimes the private sector can contribute significantly to institutional decisions, especially complicated ones,' says Minskoff, who, along with his wife Julie, donated $3 million to the MSU project along with a major Jonathan Prince sculpture and Jasper Johns print."  The full article can be read here

Exhibition at West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Park

Several sculptures by Jonathan Prince are featured in the current exhibition Subtle, Not Subtle: Evocative Nuance at West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Park in Stowe, Vermont. 

Subtle, Not Subtle: Evocative Nuance

February 14 – June 3, 2015 in the North Gallery
Reception: February 28, 2015, 6-8:30PM

“Subtle, Not Subtle: Evocative Nuance” focuses on the delicate complexity of artwork by Marc Civitarese, Janis Pozzi-Johnson, Jonathan Prince, and Helen Shulman.

“Subtle, Not Subtle” focuses on four artists whose work displays a delicate complexity that is easily overlooked by the casual viewer. Marc Civitarese abstracts the elements of realism–shape, form, and light–as a way of showing an introspective exploration of mankind, nature, and spirituality. Janis Pozzi-Johnson paints emotional, earthy tones in thick wax layers to form viscous color fields “as a visual metaphor for the often ineffable experiences of the human heart.” Working in oil and cold wax, Helen Schulman crafts paintings that engage the viewer in a quiet conversation about color and surface texture. These loose, gestural, and expressive paintings contain an undercurrent of spirituality and strong emotional overtones. Jonathan Prince’s steel sculptures contain some element that is torn or broken. These infractions are gloriously polished to reveal the tension of imperfection. Together, these artists invite the viewer to join them in the act of contemplation and to explore nuance and subtlety in artwork. These artists reward the viewer with a powerful experience; emotional earthquakes that are anything but subtle.

The exhibition is part of West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park’s expanded exhibition program in 2015. The new program features a series of exhibitions that allow for a deeper reflection and interpretation of gallery artists and sculptors. “Subtle, Not Subtle” is curated by Ric Kasini Kadour and West Branch partner Tari Swenson.


Jonathan Prince at Art Central Hong Kong

Jonathan Prince will exhibit works from both the Liquid State series and the Torn Steel series with Cynthia Reeves Gallery at the upcoming Art Central art fair, in conjunction with Art Basel Hong Kong, opening March 14. 

Art Central is Hong Kong's exciting new art fair, showcasing the next generation of talent alongside some of the most established contemporary galleries and art spaces from across the globe. Launched by the founders of ART HK, Art Central debuts 14-16 March 2015 (VIP Preview 13 March 2015) to coincide with Art Basel's Hong Kong edition. 

Basin
High Chromium Stainless Steel 
18 x 44 x 44 inches | 46 x 112 x 112 cm
2014

 

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Feature in Art New England Magazine

Geometric Breathing: Inside the Sculptural World of Jonathan Prince by Cate McQuaid 

A giant disk. An eight-foot cube. A monumental cone. Perfect geometries rusted by the weather, Jonathan Prince’s sculptures have the sense of something old and impenetrable. Until they rupture.

Many of his sculptures look as if a giant has come at it with a pickaxe and hacked a piece off. Inside that wound, shimmering stainless steel ripples like a slide of liquid mercury, winking in the light. It’s gorgeous, unpredictable, vulnerable and deeply alive in contrast to the rusty planes that barely seem to contain it.

“All the pieces have something broken,” says Prince. “The breaks can be beautiful, like the internal life we all struggle with and have to embrace.”

The sculptor has been on a roll, with public installations recently in New York at Hudson River Park, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Christie’s Sculpture Garden and an exhibition, Torn Steel, at 535 Madison Avenue Sculpture Garden. He’s had regular appearances at art fairs with Cynthia-Reeves Projects and several exhibitions. The most recent closed in October at the Helen Day Art Center in Vermont.

In 2012, Prince’s Vestigial Block was the first piece installed in the sculpture garden at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, a gift to the museum from Edward Minskoff. The six-foot, rust-streaked cube breaks into a wide canyon of delicately variegated stainless steel, gleaming as it narrows toward a low corner. By taking the formidable and exposing its innards, Prince assails the very idea of the monumental.

“There’s almost a movement in contemporary art now to dematerialize strongly material objects,” says the Broad Museum’s founding director Michael Rush, formerly director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. “Jonathan is taking a solid, familiar form and saying, ‘Look there are many things potentially going on here. Let’s tear this open and look inside.’”

Despite their ravishing imperfection, every step of the way toward making Prince’s sculptures is one of spit and polish.

The artist lives and works in a converted dairy barn (two, actually, joined together) on the far side of the Berkshires. He shares his living space with his wife, Bridget Ford Hughes, a massage therapist and ceramicist; and two Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Maggie and Ruby. When a visitor approaches, the giant dogs defend the house with basso barks, but they’re secretly softies.

Prince’s studio is a lab for techniques such as welding, polishing, heating and shaping steel. Even rusting it. When I stopped in, the sculptor and two assistants were at work on an eight-foot cube—his largest yet—and on a smaller piece. Basin (Blue) is 16 inches around and six inches deep. Not all of Prince’s works are split open monoliths; this one is all stainless steel, smooth around the side but topped with a rippling, watery surface, which the artist intended to paint blue.

“We send our paint to a lab to test coherence to metals,” Prince says. “I want to set up my own techniques to get cohesion between the paint and the substrate.”
He steps into a side room and we peer through the window of a heavy door, like that on a vault, into a dust-free “spray room” where paint is applied. When he paints in there, “I wear a full-on Ebola bodysuit,” he says. “I don’t want to bring dust in with me.”

Works such as Basin (Blue) take 30 coats of paint and then get polished infinitesimally, resolving imperfections down to fractions of a micron.


“We know when we’re done when every time we try to fix something, it’s worse than when we left it,” says Prince. “We know when we have pushed the limit.”

Despite all the technical refinement, chaos is inherent in this artist’s work. He even seeks it out. All those divots and crests in some of the stainless steel surfaces, for instance, result from a group process. A single artist tends to have signature gestures, and Prince doesn’t want anything to look predictable or repetitive.

In his studio, Prince shows off several cubes surfaced only with stainless steel. How many ripples does it take before a cube is no longer a cube? Prince and his team go at that surface with flame, hammers and a hydraulic press.

Look at Liquid State (Inhale) and Liquid State (Exhale). They seem to puff out and contract, indenting voluptuously as they go.

“I liken them to breathing,” Prince says. “How much can you expand the breath within these forms?”

He is garrulous, passionate about explaining his work, his techniques and his philosophy. His mind is as capacious and busy as his studio. There’s a lot going on, yet there’s an intrinsic order to it all. Prince has always been able to keep a lot of balls in the air.

Sculpture is not his first career, but it is the one he always dreamed of.

He grew up on Long Island, the son of a dentist. The sculptor Jacques Lipchitz was a friend and patient of his father’s, and when he was a boy, Prince visited Lipchitz’s studio. The sculptor invited him to help out, and Prince applied clumps of clay to a monumental bust, which Lipchitz then shaped.

“He took a liking to me,” Prince says. “I thought it was the greatest job in the world—from a 10-year-old’s perspective.”

But he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a dentist, specializing in maxillofacial surgery. He did well, but yearned for a creative life. Other careers followed: film producer, special effects wizard.

In the 1990s, he designed the HoloGlobe, a digital vision of climate change displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. He followed that with an Internet startup, overseeing more than 100 employees. It collapsed in the early 2000s.

“At that point, I thought, ‘I’ve had it. I’m now going to do what I’ve been afraid of and always wanted to do the most,’” says Prince.

He became a sculptor.

Not one to enter into anything lightly, he started with granite. His early works echoed the spare, lyrical abstraction of pieces by some of his heroes: Isamu Noguchi and Barbara Hepworth.

“It took me three or four years to get those 600-pound gorillas off my back,” Prince says.

He looked at Richard Serra, whose eight-foot cube Berlin Block (for Charlie Chaplin) dwarfed Prince; and the liquidity of Roni Horn’s big glass disks.

He began to think, he says, about “kinetic work that doesn’t have to move.”
That’s what his stainless steel does. Light flashes and plays off the surface.  Reflections swim, jump and fracture. These works feel as if an old, inviolate geometry, governed by heft and gravity, cracked open like an egg, and something new poured out. And that makes them less imposing, more something a viewer is drawn to investigate.

G2V, a giant rusted disk with a glimmering, slippery wedge of stainless steel coursing within, was installed at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza for six months. The United Nations is nearby.

A green market is often held there.

“The site calls for large, monumental pieces. There’s the bustle of traffic, an imposing building across the street,” says Jennifer Lantzas, public art coordinator for New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. “Formally, Jonathan’s piece held the space extremely well.”

Just as important, people wanted to interact with G2V. “Everything about his works, you want to touch,” says Lantzas.

Part of the fun is the burbling reflections the stainless steel casts. Prince grants a certain kinship with Anish Kapoor, renowned for his mirrored works.

“At first I was worried about that,” Prince says. “I don’t want to be thought of as derivative. But…it’s not derivative. It’s my own exploration. We explore similar concepts. The difference is,” he adds cheekily, “I have patents in optics.”

Kapoor’s works have a futuristic quality. Prince’s marry the new with the ancient. Look at the lushly streaked rust on his monumental pieces (he calls it “a gravitational patina”). Look at the intrinsic familiarity of his Euclidean forms, and how far back they go, laden with symbols in art, writing and ritual.

G2V takes its title from the astronomical nomenclature for the sun. The circle, the traditional symbol of the sun, breaks. At the same time, light erupts from within it.
“I’m fascinated by archaeology,” Prince says. “These are both archaeological fragments and futuristic. It’s like a compression of time. And the simpler the form…the more ageless.”

He returns in his studio to Alembic Cube, the eight-foot work-in-progress, named for a vessel used for distilling.

“This is almost an artifact of Richard Serra’s cube,” Prince says. “It’s like we found it, and dug it up, and this is what’s left.”

Rusty planes, a chasm of rippling light. Spirits released.

This article is featured in the current print issue of Art New England Magazine, on the cover of which is Jonathan Prince's sculpture One Foot StackRead Art New England Magazine's original digital version

Jonathan Prince at Art Miami

We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Prince will show two works from his ongoing series entitled Liquid State with Cynthia Reeves Gallery at the Art Miami Pavilion during Art Basel this week.

Liquid State (Exhale)
2014
Mirror Polished High Chromium Stainless Steel
22 x 22 x 22 inches | 56 x 56 x 56 cm
Edition of 5 + 1 AP

About Liquid State:

Jonathan Prince is in the process of developing an extended conversation around geometric forms morphed and softened through the applied will of the artist.  This new series of stainless steel sculptures is a manipulation of straight line and flat plane that gives rise to unexpectedly organic objects, despite their distinct origins as cube or sphere.  Each has been reduced from its initial, complete form, setting up an ironic tension in the work.

Prince recently commented: “A solitary object may be too limiting to fully investigate or communicate the complete story. I have been designing installations of object groupings that can fill a space and envelope the viewer in a type of environmental theatre -- one that allows the visual stimulus to extend past the solitary object and become more of a visceral experience.  The installation allows for the echoing, and rhythm of expression, of an idea to its fullest extent: a visual poem, so to speak, beyond single object.”

Liquid State (Inhale)
2014
Mirror Polished High Chromium Stainless Steel
22 x 22 x 22 inches | 56 x 56 x 56 cm
Edition of 5 + 1 AP

In this extensive inquiry into form, and departure from form, he is challenging the ‘will’ of the steel. Fabricated by hand in heavy guage stainless steel, Prince’s objective is to bend the assumed line of cube or sphere to realize a new shape.  The molten surfaces, where only the barest vestiges of ‘cube’ or ‘sphere’ remain, creates a new order of light reflections and thus an entirely different relationship between sculpture and environment.  Light plays on these surfaces in a way that activates both the space and its surround.   The “cube” is no longer dormant, but has the potential for a dynamic dialog with light and space.

The current work, Liquid State, is a natural extrapolation of the Torn Steel inquiry. In lieu of tearing, he is now disrupting the pure form through molding, forming, and contouring.  The resulting undulating surfaces are counter-intuitive, given the inherent rigidity of the material – especially given the thickness of steel he employs.

In a recent essay, art critic Dorothy Joiner commented:  “One of Plato’s favorite sayings is:  God is always doing geometry.  Classic forms bear historical and symbolic associations… yet it would seem that Prince has spoiled Plato’s divinely perfect geometric forms.  He prefers a marriage of form and accident, or form and intentional morphing of form into something decidedly non-geometric.”   

Jonathan Prince has exhibited his sculptures at the Cynthia-Reeves gallery in New York City; and has had a series of important, recent public art installations in New York, including TORN STEEL at the 590 Madison Avenue Sculpture Garden; an installation at the 535 Madison Avenue Sculpture Plaza; an exhibition of G2V at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the United Nations; and, an exhibition of two black granite sculptures on Pier 64 at Hudson River Park.  One of these sculptures will travel for a two-year installation in San Diego, California; and an installation of his seminal work, Ellipsis, will be on view at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next year.

Jonathan Prince’s Vestigial Block is on permanent view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing. The monumentally scaled sculpture is one of three currently on display as part of the museum’s Sculpture Garden, surrounding the new Zaha Hadid designed museum.

For more information on the series and the artist’s practice, please call 212 714 0044, or visit the online gallery at:  Cynthia-reeves.com.

ART MIAMI  December 2-7, 2014  Booth A40.

 

Jonathan Prince Recasts Ancient Objects

Jonathan Prince Recasts Ancient Objects by Laura Lofgren of the Berkshire Eagle

LENOX -- Ranging in sizes from small, intimate pieces to the monumental, SculptureNow’s featured artist Jonathan Prince’s works invite an interaction between the viewer and the art.

Executive Director Ann Jon asked Prince to add a piece to the Lenox exhibition, "SculptureNow in Lenox 2012," in the 15th year that SculptureNow has presented public art and Prince eagerly agreed to the request. "For years now, I have admired the hard work that Ann has done to organize these shows, so I happily said yes to her request," Prince said in an email interview. In the SculptureNow 2012 show, Prince has one piece called "Totem II." It comes from a four-piece series called "Torn Steel," which he displayed in a solo show in New York City recently. It stands in front of the Lenox Library on Main Street and will appear until Oct. 27. The monumental sizes of Prince’s works require plenty of big machinery at his studio -- a 15-ton crane, a 10,000 pound forklift, a 110-ton hydraulic press, power hammers, band saws -- to name just a few. Prince employs a staff of two to five people, depending on his exhibition schedule. "What I find most important is to have the correct equipment for the job," he said. "From a process point of view, a piece of machinery that has a certain capacity to accomplish something opens up my universe for design." Born in New York City and living in Los Angeles for most of his adult life. 

Totem II / 

Prince moved to the Berkshires with his wife, Bridget, and found a home and studio in New Marlborough. Prince at tended several undergraduate colleges and eventually earned a DDS degree from the Columbia School of Dental Medicine and went on to post-doctoral training at the University of Southern California. "After all my dental training, I ended up practicing for only three years," he said. "Pretty much everything else I have done has been involved in creative work."

Prince then moved into the film industry, working in special effects and computer animation. His last endeavor before starting a full-time career in the arts world was founding a venture-backed Internet media company in New York, where he became the CEO of more than 100 employees.
"I honestly feel that it is my varied background that has shaped my sculpture career," he said.
Prince has been working as a sculptor for less than a decade. He started his journey working primarily in stone -- mostly black granite from Zimbabwe and South Africa. He began working in steel about two-and-a-half years ago. "The techniques between stone carving and metal fabrication are at the opposite ends of the sculpting spectrum," Prince said, "yet I have managed to incorporate several of the stone- carving techniques that I was familiar with into my studio
practice in steel. I believe that this is a significant reason my steel work looks very different than most steel sculptures that are out there in the world." Prince’s "science projects," as he often refers to them, welcomes viewers to interact with each piece at different angles. Noted for his larger-scale work, he said he attepmts "to have a sculpture reveal something that can only be seen from a particular vantage point." In smaller objects, he said, he aims for a "preciousness" or "jewel-like quality." As for a source of inspiration, Prince says it’s really difficult to pin down one thing. "But what I can tell you," he said, "is that for some reason it gives me great joy to build these objects." In saying that, Prince points to a number of themes he looks to carry through in his work. One idea is the premise that "the more basic an object -- so-called primitive geometries -- the more that past and future seem to converge." "For example, it often looks like my sculptures could be an artifact from an ancient civilization or just as easily been left on Earth by aliens," Prince said. 

Rift Oxidized and Stainless Steel / 41 x 41 x 41 inches | 104 x 104 x 104 cm

The idea of atrophy stands out in Prince’s "Totem II." Steel is difficult to work with, and Prince holds a central theme that "things" people often hold in high esteem are destined to fail them. For example, Prince’s new work of an 8-foot disc shape, looking as if it were fractured over centuries, even eons, has the obscure name of "G2V." "[G2V] turns out to be the astronomical nomenclature for our sun," he said. "My premise is that most ancient civilizations have worshiped the sun in one form or another and referred to it by many different names. As an astronomical object, G2V is central to our planet and our existence. As a deity or idol, it has failed all those who have worshipped it."


Organic Imperfections

Glimmering Gored Sculptures: The Torn Steel Installation Centers on Organic Imperfections / article by Meghan Young / read full article here. 

There is a beauty to imperfection as the Torn Steel art installation shows. Although not all imperfections are as glimmering as the tears and dents that each sculpture suffers from. Granted, because of how beautiful these scars really are, perhaps the sculptures do not actually suffer from them all, but is made the better for them. The Torn Steel art installation can surely teach many of us to love our own faults. Created by artist Jonathan Prince, the Torn Steel art installation emphasizes elegance, precision and the material’s qualities. Known for exploring the expansive expressions lying with in such materials as steel, his Torn Steel sculptures are sinuous and organic despite being fashioned out of heavy and hard metal. He works in the modernist vein of such artists as Constantin Brancusi and Jean Arp.

Disc Fragment / Oxidized and Stainless Steel / 9.5 x 8 x 5 feet | 3 x 2.5 x 1.5 meter



Exhibition in New York City

Jonathan Prince at Sculpture Garden in New York City by Edward Rubin of Artes Magazine

The work of Massachusetts-based artist, Jonathan Prince, is currently on view until November 18th, at the Sculpture Garden in the atrium of the old IBM building, in New York City. Shown under the title Torn Steel, the work like the artist, himself, who resembles Julian Schnabel—is big, bold and undeniably ambitious. But underneath the swagger of the man and his work— observations based on an in-depth studio visit, a couple of wide-ranging conversations of the inquiring kind and, of course, the four, eye- to-mind grabbing sculptures on view—lives a sensitive soul, albeit on top of a simmering volcano. His innards seem to house an acute and restless intellect that appears to know no bounds. Though relatively new, as a full-time practitioner to the art world, that is, Prince has only been sculpting 24/7 for the past eight years, a somewhat unbelievable fact given the sure-footedness of his work. As a young boy he was drafted into the world of art through a series of visits with his father to the studio of artist, Jacques Lipchitz. It was here that he was first exposed to contemporary art, to Lipchitz’s extensive collection of pre-Columbian sculpture, and where he experienced, first hand— with a few demonstrations by the master himself—what it meant to be an artist.

Vestigial BlockCorTen and Stainless Steel / 6.25 x 6 x 6 feet | 1.9 x 1.8 x 1.8 meter

As a teenager, still smitten with the lessons of Lipchitz, Prince turned both hands to sculpting in stone and clay, as well as plaster. As fate would have it—like a good son who would follow in his father’s footsteps—his career trajectory led him to the art of dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. After three years in this highly precise eye-to-hand occupation, Prince turned to directing and producing films and computer animated special-effects projects. After successfully pursuing the art and science of filmmaking for a number of decades, he returned (an argument could be made that he never left) to his first love, sculpting. In Torn Steel, his newest series, Prince, known primarily for his work in black granite, stone, and marble, each harboring traces of Noguchi, Brancusi and Arp, uses steel, oxidized and stainless steel to implement his vision. “Steel is less tight than stone. It gives me the opportunity to cut something or to weld it back,” he told one interviewer. “What I’m hoping to create is the intersection between chaos theory and refined geometry.” True to his word, the artist’s four geometrically-shaped works in Torn Steel, set down among the Sculpture Center
atrium’s elegant stand of bamboo trees—the cellular softness of nature embracing
our industrial civilization—does just that.

At first glance, Prince’s monumental sculptures appear to be nothing more than simple geometric forms: a square with a broken edge: a column with its top gouged; a couple of circular sculptural riffs, one resembling a large distressed pill set on edge, the other a partially eaten donut doing a clever balancing act. On closer examination, the lively quartette begins to take on an otherworldly, if not quasireligious, cast. Refraining from the impulse to begin praying, we ask ourselves: are these objects relics of worship from a lost civilization; artifacts left behind by a race that has died off; a Hollywood studio prop leftover from a long-forgotten Roman epic; or are they really post-modern sculptures waiting to be transported to some city plaza? 

Totem II Oxidized and Stainless Steel / 12.5 x 2 x 2 feet | 3.8 x .6 x .6 meter

Each sculpture, though massive in appearance is, in actuality, deceptively hollow. The naturally-oxidized appearance that weathered steel effortlessly acquires is, in the case of Prince’s work, a labor-intensive process that is anything but random. It all begins with Prince sketching out a concept. After refining it on computer, he creates a urethane foam model, along with a series of engineering drawings, enabling him to order the necessary materials for fabrication. Once the full geometrically shaped work is constructed, the artist marks the sections to be
“torn” out of the sculpture with a powerful plasma torch. Then the stainless steel plates are shaped, welded into the form, the patterns are overlaid onto the plates with a MIG welder in stainless steel, and all areas smoothed and blended with a TIG welder. Finally, the stainless steel areas are smoothed and polished with various abrasives.

The most satisfying and easily digestible of the four sculptures on view—also the most challenging in its simplicity—is Vestigial Block, Prince’s six-foot square cube. It is here at the steel cubiform, unfettered and uncomplicated by the edgy and visually jagged cuts and molten steel plating found at the top of Totem and at either end of Torus—making them a bit too fussy for my taste—that Prince’s technique of exposing the seemingly soft molten innards buried within the sculpture’s hard outer shell is at its most natural and pleasantly poignant. It is also at this stop, while basking gently in the light of this daringly modest sculpture, that our mind is gently seduced into conjuring up images of the earth’s fiery center, overflowing lava, and thoughts of the human body housing an active soul.

 

Jonathan Prince Presents 'Torn Steel'

Jonathan Prince Presents Torn Steel, Featured in Whitewall Magazine 

Champagne in hand, sculptor Jonathan Prince guides an intimate tour through his tranquil home gallery space, elucidating the evolution of his work over the past eight years. Working in mediums of wood,stone and metal,Prince'sdynamic geometric sculptures draw inspiration from his background in science, natural history, and optics. Each piece - large or small - begs the viewer to step closer and interact.

At his Berkshire-based studio, Prince  and his assistants prepare for his upooming installation, "Torn Steel," at the 590 Madison Avenue Atrium on September 15, 2011. These large-scale sculptures examine the boundaries of metaland the juxtapositionof surfaces.By creating breaks in the distressed facade of geometric pieces,which are then plated in a silver leaf patina,Prince develops a oounterpoint between our pre-existing understanding of the shape and his unexpected alterations. The rusted surfaces rupture to reveal a tumultuous, gleaming interior, creating the sensation of an ongoing evolution.

Torus 340View at IBM Atrium, 590 Madison Avenue New York, NY

Prince began his career as a sculptorjust eight years ago, although he has been experimenting since his high school days when he worked at a New York City foundry. While his early work oonsisted primarily of stone, particularly black granite, his upooming installation is almost exclusively in metal. Steel,Prince explains,provides greater flexibility to experiment withvolume.

Sponsored by Cynthia-Reeves, "Torn Steel" is part of the gallery's ongoing initiative to curate off-site exhibitions.This installation will be open to the public from September 15 through October 18, 20011, from 8 am to 1O pm,at 590 Madison Avenue at 57th Street.

Sculptors to Watch

Sculptors to Watch by Christine Temin of Art New England 

Berkshire artist Jonathan Prince is the most traditional of my picks because his medium is
stone, occasionally coupled with metallic leaf. Prince recalls that as a young child, his father
took him to the studio of a friend who was also one of the most renowned sculptors of the
twentieth century—Jacques Lipchitz. At the time, Lipchitz was working on a clay piece
destined to become one of his signature bronzes. Prince recalls it as the ultimate showand-
tell lesson. “Rock grounds me,” he says. Black granite from Africa, China, or India is his favorite
because of the way it absorbs light. It’s a gravitational pull for him, and granite’s virtual
immortality appeals to him. It endures long after both artist and audience have passed on.
On the other hand, Prince’s gift for granite makes it seem like a living, breathing entity. Working with large blocks of stone requires patience and perseverance, as demonstrated in, say, his Five Piece Sphere (2009). Made of Indian black granite, it is sliced like a rounded loaf of bread, which gives the weighty stone light appearance. Its rhythmic repetitions are almost musical.
Prince uses history. Fractured Celt (2008) is made of African granite and oxidized
steel, reminding me of one of Britain’s mysterious standing stones, the most famous
being Stonehenge. While he occasionally accepts commissions, he primarily follows his own artistic voice and has a studio full of work that he’s happy to show to visitors who make an
appointment.  Read the full article here.

Jonathan Prince, Broken Torus, 2008, Cambrian black granite, 40x 80 x 40".