Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michael Todd :: Small Enso, III, 1984

Patinated bronze
Gift of Kathryn Todd
Location: Donald W. Reynolds Grand Hall (in the Atrium near the elevator)

Enso: the circle in Zen brush painting that represents the complexities of the universe. Michael Todd began sculpting with small circles (enso), and large circles (daimaru) in 1970. In an exhibition interview at California State University, San Bernadino, he explained that “form seems to flow more naturally and freely in the circle, yet it provides restraints and discipline.” His process involves the use of found metal as well as “spills,” which are random shapes formed when molten metal is thrown on a flat surface. He experiments with all forms of patination, often pouring acid on bronze while it is still warm to create a variety of warm colors. He claims that “I have always felt like a painter at heart, and my sculpture is certainly more painterly, that is, more gestural and lyrical, than most sculptors. I have been painting on canvas occasionally over the years, and the paintings have always helped me to loosen up the sculpture.” He prefers to have his work shown against a white background, preferably in a quiet place.
Todd received a B.A. from Notre Dame and an M.A. from UCLA. He was the recipient of Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright Fellowships. He has taught at UCLA, UCI, UCSD and California Institute of the Arts. His work is in the Whitney, the Hirshhorn, the Norton Simon and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Note prepared by Kathleen Durham and Lois Smalley.