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Exploring the art of
Tom Orr and Frances Bagley
Words + photographs Copyright 2005 by J R Compton
Every artwork in this story is copyright 2005 by the originating artist. No reproduction or approximation of these works
may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the artist.
Frances Bagley - hoop schemes and projected lips —
line, shadow, color, white, mesh and shadow gray.
Visual echoes of both artists' work in hers.
This is not a review. Not in the usual meaning of that word.
This is a viewing and viewing again. Me rhapsodizing on the remarkable similarities and distinct differences in the sculptural styles and ideas and expressions of two artists who are married and work together in opposite wings of a large space.
Who, one assumes, communicate deeply about what they are doing and trying to do — succeeding and failing at in the ambitious progression of their three - dimensional art.
This story of words and pictures illustrates some of the ideas and visions that continue in Tom's and Frances' work, comparing and contrasting in alternating images down this page. If what I am trying to do here works, we see these images and draw our conclusions, connect our own dots.
Tom Orr - Maquette in the foreground and
clippings on the far wall of his studio
It was a cold Sunday afternoon in January. The couple invited friends who hadn't already seen their remodeled working spaces. A party with snacks and friends and conversation and a lot of us who hadn't seen others in a while.
Outside was gray and wet. Inside was comfortably warm and friendly. The sound of laughter and art talk filled the cavernous spaces as we explored the studios and their work.
Tom, the quieter one's spaces are further from the door. His office is linear and neat. Frances' shows rougher solids and irregular volumes. Not a mess, now, today, but the stuff and processes are out and visible. Ideas dot both their walls with clippings, drawings, attempts and tests.
Their work does not need me to review it, much as I like seeing it again. I've done that already, here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and more on this site. Site Search Bagley or Orr. I was pleased just to see some of the pieces again and many of them for the first time — a viewing I'm happy to share.
another interplay of textures, externally slick,
almost glossy — internally irregular, informal
Lumpy, more formal, slick, not shiny
a 3-D color drawing with splatter of reflections
The middle drawing of familiar art history shapes
notes "Blue Horses." This splatter hints a third dimension.