James Stuart Kane is both a painter and sculptor, with a primary interest in the latter. His work spans many years of working serially, moving joyously toward simplification and clarification, striving toward the essence of his ideograph. His media are bronze, wood, acrylic and vinyl, steel and vinyl and inflatable vinyl. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he received his B.E. degree. He was awarded both a M.A. and M.F.A. degree from the University of Wyoming, in Laramie. He has exhibited and taught at universities in the South, Mid-West and East. In addition he owned and operated the critically acclaimed Indigenous Image Gallery in Palm Desert, California. He now lives, works and exhibits in Silver City, New Mexico. My interests are primarily sculptural, although in the past I did occasionally paint. But while painting is all visual, sculpture is dominantly tactual even though it still possesses a visual quality. This tactually dominant nature was noticed by me in my early carving. It is the geometric form in the sculpture and the two-dimensional renderings which are the obvious link between these works. These forms are very important to me in that they are the structural basis upon which a three-dimensional language is rooted in the ideograph (idea-picture). The generative, receptive, processial, and formative content is always present because of my belief that everything that exists must operate as at least one of these conditions. The shaft, tetrahedron, and pyramids tend to be generative as is the cross; circles or spheres are receptive; undulations, waves, and spirals are models of process; and the square and cube is the purest volumetric form of the formative condition. Even in my earlier works I intuitively used some of these forms in conjunction with more figurative elements. Eventually through a desire to pack as much meaning into as little form as possible, I would bend and configure tetrahedra, as in Life Cycle, to create the sense of motion (process) and form the egg (receptive). The notion of opening up works became more important as a means of allowing a certain sense of passage and growing into my works (process). I have continued building on these premises by precisely and systematically adding extensions to the faces of various polyhedra. These extensions can create spinning and opening qualities depending on the specific geometric form. The tetrahedron literally appears to spin as a pinwheel or dance (as in Dance Form), even though by itself, without such extensions, it is very static. The octahedron is swollen with convex sides into spheric and ovoid forms within which that same tetrahedron, with its extensions, is either floating or firmly planted. I had perceived a hint of this merger of the egg and the octahedron in works of Brancusi. Finally the integration of these opposing forms creates not only a strong contrapuntal play but also merges the forms into an ancient historically based image, i.e., the Horus sculptures and the Phoenix. Plant-like qualities long present in my work still seem subtly to exist but give way to the present suggestion of bird-like forms. I feel it is important to become more comprehensive in one’s work while being as efficient as possible. My work is serial in nature – – a continuum of idea and form now spanning a period of many years. Over the years I have labored toward simplification and clarification, but I now realize that this simplification was necessary to understand and discover particular essences of idea, and that using this experience I can achieve a greater end in dealing with sculptures, each of which simultaneously work on many levels of meaning.
- Camilla Vaitaitis
- Dana Wolter