Nasher Sculpture Center 360 Speaker Series: Bosco Sodi
Mexico City-based artist Bosco Sodi reveals an emotive power within the essential crudeness of the materials that he uses to execute his paintings and sculptures. Focusing on material exploration, the creative gesture and the spiritual connection between the artist and his work, Sodi seeks to transcend conceptual barriers.
In his freestanding, three-dimensional work, Sodi employs the systematic approach of minimalism but eschews the cold precision of industrial manufacturing, electing to use traditional vernacular methods that retain the essential character of the local elements of earth, water, air, and fire from which the sculptures are created. Sodi begins his sculptures by extracting raw earth, mixing it with water and sand to form clay. The clay is shaped and smoothed by hand into solid cubes that are left to air dry in the sun at his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico. Once cured, the cubes are fired in a traditional brick kiln with wood, jacaranda seeds and coconut shells, a process that imbues the cubes with varied terracotta hues, streaks of green and black, and surface fissures, giving each element a unique identity.
Sodi considers these works living sculptures, the surfaces are determined by the essential character of the materials and processes rather than the imposition of the artist’s will. His work is informed by the Japanese aesthetic notion of Wabi-sabi, where beauty is expressed in imperfection, transience and simplicity. Each earthen cube represents an essential geometry and a primary unit of mass. Stacked in columns, they imply a system of building that can be extended to myriad structural possibilities.