Peter Bowyer

26 January 1982 - 13 February 1982
Opening Reception 26 January 1982 8pm

East Gallery:

Steel Sculpture

This Toronto artist studied Fine Arts at John Abbot College, Montreal, and sculpture at St. Martins School in England. His recent steel sculptures were made at Sculpture Space Inc. in Utica, New York.

Two sculptors reflect opposites
Globe and Mail, February 1982

Though they weren’t intended to work this way, the separate installations by Peter Bowyer and Robert Bowers, now on view respectively in the west and east galleries at Mercer Union (333 Adelaide St. W.), turn out to be mirror images of each other.

Where Bowyer is showing a scatter of 11 small-to-medium welded steel sculptures, Bowers presents a single, very large wooden construction. Bowyer’s works suggest some tentative references to things (tables, columns and so on), but are finally no-nonsense constructive abstractions, built up from heavy metal chunks, slices and macaroni. Bowers’ contribution, on the other hand, is a monumental self-portrait, six feet high from chin to crown, and six feet from nose to nape, fabricated from short lengths of Canadian cedar – a ponderous, whimsical, audacious piece of statuary that’s as far – away as it’s possible to get from the serious post-modernist dialectic of Bowyer’s work.

Both projects are solid, but Peter Bowyers’ pieces demand and deserve special attention. For the most part open-worked and architectural, these rusted and richly oiled objects seem poised like, ruins, between a memory of structural wholeness and a future as rubble. The interpenetration of metaphor (the ruin as a symbol of loss and the passage of time) and literal, material concerns imbues the best of these 11 pieces with an attractive, thoroughly modern sense of melancholy.