Mike Wright

Bleak Still Life with Chair, 2017
Color Field Green, 2017

Modernist Sculpture #1, 2012

Sea Drift, 2009

Three Starboard Sides, 1999

Still Life #1, 2010

After Kenneth Stubbs’ Red Tabletop, White Window

My process starts with searching Provincetown beaches and streets for old painted wood, for me the point of using found wood is that, as debris, it seems unpromising. But that lack of promise is also its appeal. The peeling paint, the color scrubbed by salt waves, sand or human use allows us to recognize the influence of its past. My principle parameter is that the wood must be found in Provincetown. The second is not to paint that wood, whose patina is impossible to duplicate. I like the moment when I place the first pieces of old wood, seeing all that potential, seeing relationships of form begin to take shape. I have learned to listen to the materials and allow for any chance opportunity to emerge, achieving the object through building up but also working them, modifying form with minimal carpentry—cutting, joining, sandwiching. When I touch the wood I feel its essence, the wood had an experience as boat or floorboard and it remembers its past. I interfere with what it was made to be, to make it something else: a sculpture that includes some detail from the wood’s archeological memory.

To further explore the potential of found wood, I make sculptures in a series. In the “natura morta” (still life) series, I interpret in three dimensions the two-dimensional layered paintings from the 1920s of the early Provincetown Modernists, Blanche Lazzell, Kenneth Stubbs, Karl Knaths and Lillian Orlowsky.


Mike Wright had a solo exhibition at the St Botolph Club in Boston in 2016; had a solo exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in 2015; received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2014; was the “Artist in Residence” at Cape Cod Community College; was awarded a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center; won the Michael E. Deluty Outstanding Sculpture Prize at the CAA National Competition in 2007, won the 1998 National Competition at PAAM, resulting in a solo exhibition in 1999. She has exhibited in Japan, New York City, East Hampton, Maryland, Montana, Florida, Louisiana, Boston and Provincetown. Her work is in the Provincetown Art Association and Museum Collection, in the Cape Cod Museum of Art Collection and in many private collections. Alden Gallery represents her in Provincetown.


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