The Meeting of Leaf and Stone
September 13, 2017
The Meeting of Leaf and Stone
Richard Erdman Studios announces an exciting relationship and series of commissions set to bring Erdman’s work into further international prominence.
Renowned dealer Robert Landau is expanding his representation of Erdman into Europe, where he will be Erdman’s sole representative for large-scale sculpture. Landau Fine Art is long celebrated for its selection of modern masters, presenting at premier international art fairs such as Basel, Basel Miami, Maastricht, Frieze NY, and Frieze London. Landau’s unique partnership with a living artist has ushered in an exciting era for Erdman’s work.
An especially beautiful result of this relationship has witnessed the meeting of leaf and stone. Erdman is pleased to announce a series of new sculptures that will be displayed by the renowned landscape architect Enzo Enea, whose majestic Tree Museum sits on the site of a 14th century monastery outside Zurich, Switzerland. Sprawling beside Enea’s design research campus, the 18-acre Tree Museum is home to a breathtaking collection of 50 tree species, a cultivation of aesthetics that is simply remarkable, instilling a sense of contemplative wonder. Enea has an affinity for trees as art form, often rescuing them from doomed environments. Given new life in the Tree Museum, they achieve a sinuous grace, reaching their limbs over beautifully arranged sandstone blocks. A Red Japanese Maple dating from the 1800s stands within shouting distance of a gnarled Scotch Pine. Visitors wander into the shade of a majestic Catawba Rhododendron.
Erdman met Enea through his European art dealer, Robert Landau. An immediate connection bloomed, as all three agreed that the Tree Museum’s grounds are the perfect presentation for the liquid rigidity of Erdman’s pieces. Here all of nature’s elements come together in a reverent symbiosis. “Passion creates wishes out of dreams,” Enea says, “and wishes motivate us to strive to make those dreams reality. Richard, Robert and I are doing exactly that, just each in his own way.”
Enea and Landau have commissioned four new Erdman works for this unparalleled setting. Sentinel is the first of these to stand proudly in the Tree Museum. The Brazilian Blue Granite spills upward from its pedestal, framed by the lush green of Enea’s trees, soon to be neighbored by an inspired variation of the butterfly-like Volante. A new bardiglio marble sculpture titled Spira Nuvola,will be installed atop the central pond on the Tree Museum’s grounds, a context in which Erdman’s work is often magnificent. Finally, a tree inspired, leaf-like travertine piece will soon debut among the hallowed branches, and each of the four will be available through Landau Fine Art.
Never before has sculpture been installed in the Tree Museum’s living canvas. Erdman refers to Enea as “a man of nature and stone.” The meeting of these artists sounded a great chord of kinship. Erdman’s work often draws the eye like water captured in stasis, midflight. Air and light and the stretch of infinity are important roles in his material carved from earth. Like calls to like, nature holds nature in its timeless palm. “This collaboration is so exciting for me as an artist,” Erdman says. “We’re both motivated by our love of the natural world, and to work with the element of stone in a space where the elements of earth and air and the trees themselves create the palette is just tremendous. It’s an amazing partnership.”
Yes, like calls to like. Enzo Enea’s trees breathe in and speak of the patient and exquisite passage of time. During their visit there, Richard Erdman’s ageless sculptures will breathe back from within their dappled shelter.