Cate McQuaid reviewed “Clark Derbes: American Sculpture” at Clark Gallery in the May 29th, 2014 edition of The Boston Globe
Clark Derbes’s lean and remarkable sculptures, wrought with a chainsaw from old tree stumps, seem to quote old game boards, boxes, and quilt patterns.
Derbes riddles with perspective, volume, and space. “Sunny,” a box covered with a velvety checkerboard pattern, sits on a shelf. Look closely, and it’s really more like a drawing describing a box: A corner lifts into the air, and the object itself is no cube; it’s more like a wedge.
“Tom,” a wall sculpture, might be taken for a long, low box decorated with concentric rectangles, the shapes of which Derbes tweaks and cinches to animate the piece and skew our perceptions of its shape. Cracks open along the sanded surface, reminding us that this is a solid piece of wood; Derbes revels in the tensions between his deft illusion and the telltale revelations of it.
Stop into West Branch Gallery to see Clark’s work in the gallery or preview his work online.