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.

Terence Main

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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.

Terence Main “Red Twiddler”chair, 1988 Wood

Image source:https://www.magenxxcentury.com/collections/terence-main3

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.

Terence Main Frond chair 7, 1991 Cast aluminium
Terence Main Frond chair 7, 1991 Cast aluminium

Image source:  https://www.magenxxcentury.com/collections/terence-main

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.

Terence Main “My Eames is True” sculptural side chair, 2002 Cast aluminum
Terence Main “My Eames is True” sculptural side chair, 2002 Cast aluminum

Image source: https://www.magenxxcentury.com/collections/terence-main2

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