For the past three weeks, the art and architecture department of Hobart and William Smith Colleges has been pleased to exhibit the work of its own A. E. Ted Aub. The showcase concludes on Friday, Feb. 11, at which time Aub will present a talk on his recent work. All are invited to attend. The event begins at 5 p.m. in Room 112 of Houghton House; a closing reception will follow.
The exhibition, which ran from Jan. 21 to Feb. 11, includes bronze and plaster castings of whimsical figurative subjects. Many of the pieces were exhibited this summer as part of the 4th Rochester Biennial Exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.
Aub, an internationally recognized sculptor, explains, “I think of my work as a paradoxical marriage of clarity and enigma — as in dreams, content seems both rational and irrational. My work often deals with dualities such as these, and the figure holds interest for me, in part, because of the metaphor imbedded in the symmetry that is the natural bifurcation of the body. In these works, the implicit line of division is emphasized by way of the mirroring of the body parts and facial features along with the prosthetic treatment of the hairstyles and other external ornamentation.”
In many cases, figures are shown upside-down or in altered physical contexts. Aub reasons, “If the sculptures have an air of silliness there is also an undercurrent of seriousness; my hope is that this confusion is also compelling.”
Themes of circularity are present in the works in ways that are obvious and less so. Other than rounded forms, some of the pieces are designed to roll or rock in place implying a circular movement for these otherwise static forms. Titles reflect circularity in their wordplay usage of palindromes, or fragments of songs that create endless circular musical loops as the “before and after” of the sound phrase plays out in the mind.
“Popular culture and folk art are references I enjoy drawing on for inspiration,” he adds.
Aub has been a member of the department of art and architecture at HWS since 1981. Public projects of his on the Colleges’ campus include sculptures of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and William Smith.
Other public works include “When Anthony Met Stanton,” in Seneca Falls, N.Y.; and a series of sculptures at The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Fla. Aub has also been commissioned for private and public sculptures in Korea and most recently in Jinan, China.
Aub has been recognized with numerous national and regional awards. In the region, he has been a regular contributor to the biannual “Finger Lakes Exhibition,” at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. On two occasions he has won the coveted museum award. Aub has also been included in the Everson Biennial in Syracuse and the State Museum in Albany as well as many college galleries.