Terence Main

Terence Main is an American modernist sculptor who was born in 1954. He is best known for cast metal sculptural furniture that he has been making for more than 20 years, such as Fourth Frond Chair in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Fourth Frond Chair on the left and the portrait of Terence Main on the right.
The Fourth Frond Chair on the left and the portrait of Terence Main on the right.

Image source: http://blogs.iu.edu/herron/2015/10/21/pearls-from-terence-main-get-to-know-a-little-about-the-newest-distinguished-alumnus/

Formative Years and Exhibitions

Terence Main was born in 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and soon developed an interest in visual arts and sculpture. He studied at the Herron School of Art and Design receiving his BA in 1976 and then at the Cranbrook Academy of Art graduating in 1978. His works are currently exhibited at the MoMA, Denver Art Museum, Brooklin Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston among the others.


Five, cast aluminum bench for a private client, by Terence Main.
Five, cast aluminum bench for a private client, by Terence Main.

Image source: http://www.terencemain.com/

Redefining the Boundaries between Art and Design

Terence Main’s work redefines the boundaries between art and design and seems to exist within the generative and destructive cycles of nature. The biomorphic elements of his works recall the fossilized remains of ancient creatures and vegetation. Overall, they often have the look and feel of natural phenomena rather than crafted objects. Looking outside the boundaries of classicism, Main responds to the rich material of primitive art with furniture that intimates the power of animist belief throughout human culture. One of his sinuous benches suggests a forgotten path or the spine of an extinct animal; the ambiguity of its place in the natural order augmenting the sense of desuetude and revealing the patterns in which this natural order is manifested.

Main's Outsider Table 30 x 18 x18", cast hite bronze, 2007.
Main’s Outsider Table 30 x 18 x 18″, cast white bronze, 2007.

The White Bronze Table and Chair

Filled with dark and light, the cast white bronze table and chair by Terence Main fits perfectly into the sculptor’s production. The forms are anthropomorphic, bold, and specific and Main’s iconography, intensely personal yet profoundly universal, grows to encompass that same strength of form, ultimately fulfilling Louis Sullivan’s ideal of ornament and structure.

Main’s work, in this piece as in the entirety of his production, seems to exist within the generative and destructive cycles of nature. The idea of redrawing on the pattern remains in this bronze table and chair. The lingering iconic drawings were first carved in and then carved out with the intention to be drawn in by light flickering off the shiny texture as opposed to the signs and symbols.

Visitor 34 x 42 x 20” cast white bronze, 2008. Private collection: West Palm Beach, Florida.
Visitor 34 x 42 x 20” cast white bronze, 2008. Private collection: West Palm Beach, Florida.

Image source: http://www.terencemain.com/04-4Sitting_with_Visitor.html

 


Info sources: http://www.magenxxcentury.com/designers/terence-main/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Main
http://www.terencemain.com/

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