about the artist
Doug Calisch
Artist䴜s Notes
Lost and Found, Again

My sculptural process involves collecting, modifying, and assembling found materials. By composing with these rescued materials, layers of association and metaphor emerge, motifs develop, and narratives are created. That each collected article shows signs of natural wear or past human activity intrigues me and suggests each sculptural assemblage has an expansive history beyond my involvement with the materials. It is not unlike archeology. The work becomes collaborative, combining my actions with acts previous to mine. Within this context, I strive for the delicate balance between preserving an object䴜s history (a cultural archeology), and creating new ways of looking at and thinking about these materials and forms (a personal archeology).

Visualize a bronzed baby shoe tied to a chessboard, or sealed inside
a mason jar. The relationship of these objects invites us to re-examine
our associations with and perceptions of these things 䴋 each of us
generating our own response to the new combinations.

Accompanying the sculptural works in the Lost and Found, Again exhibit are digital photographs, which began as a natural extension of my creative scavenging. They capture the sometimes ironic and ghostly beauty discovered in and around the abandoned sites where I collect materials for sculpture. In addition, the digital prints call into question our historical understanding of photographic truth and beauty because of the ability to expand on (or assemble) the reality within the image. With this freedom to fictionalize comes a responsibility to illuminate.

The works in Lost and Found, Again draw on a variety of visual sources including architecture, shrines, signage, tools, games, scientific illustrations, refuse, the human figure, the lack of the human figure, natural artifacts, and our natural environment. My visual vocabulary suggests thematic connections between the natural and scientific worlds, between observation and understanding, between instinct and knowledge, between order and disorder, and between natural law and societal practices. Beyond the formal considerations of composition, color, texture, and craft, the nature of found-object photography and found-object sculpture also suggests we consider the disposition of a society that leaves these materials behind.