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Exploring the art of
Tom Orr and Frances Bagley

Frances Bagley - hoop schemes

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 & clippings

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.


Frances Bagley - forms

Frances Bagley  -  animal and
other shapes in her studio


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.


Tom Orr - wire shapes

Tom Orr  -  interplay of gridded shapes and shadows ...




Frances Bagley's work table

Frances Bagley  -  ... odd animal shapes, lines and volumes and color




Tom Orr - art study on the wall

Tom Orr  -  informal structures of studies of stripes and clears




Frances Bagley - zebra stripes

Frances Bagley  -  zebra stripes




Tom Orr - glass sculpture

Tom Orr  -  a wiggle of lines and planes and
reflections with translucency and shadow




Frances Bagley - small sculpture

Frances Bagley  -  A metal mesh, that same
essential color, minimally griddish, subtle green
reflections, texture and form speaking volume.




Tom Orr - testing art

Tom Orr  -  study suspended on chairs, tinted glass, wadded foil




Frances Bagley - Poodle

Frances Bagley -
foam poodle with big neon eyes




Tom Orr - peacock of color

Tom Orr  -  controlled peacock of reflections from a spotlight




Frances Bagley - red puddle of sculpture

Frances Bagley  -  red fabric puddle ripples




Tom Orr - square mesh with concentric circles

Tom Orr  -  Tom pounded this once straight, square mesh
over a rippling mold to yield the subtle concentric effect.




Frances Bagley - forms

Frances Bagley  -  figure form of
mesh white wired into space




Tom Orr - drawing in steel and mesh

Tom Orr  -  drawing in steel and mesh




Frances Bagley - masked figure in studio

Frances Bagley  -  otherwise featureless figure in mask




Tom Orr - paint dripper multiple

Tom Orr  -  The way Tom's mind works — he picks up
a paint dripper at a hardware store, then another.
His hands fit them together into standalone sculpture.




Frances Bagley - dog forms in studio

Frances Bagley  -  dog forms in studio
with tiger, plants and furniture




Tom Orr - maquette

Tom Orr  -  scale model in studio —




Frances Bagley - animal shapes

Frances Bagley  -  draped animal shapes




Tom Orr - wet art

Tom Orr  -  an intermittent rain of ground, object and optiks — Photographs of Tom's
big, line interference pieces lie, as do our eyes as we enter the corner space.
This is not some subtle sable with occasional vertical lines dripping. This is yipes of
stripes, mostly blacks and whites, some tan — a rain of retinal battle. It's only stripes, we tell
ourselves, only stripes. But our eyes' lies make an electrical storm of vibration
and confusion. A subtle brown riot of arcs and blends, distortions and distractions.




Frances Bagley - two wrapped figures

Frances Bagley  -  two wrapped figures twisted
together interconnected in rippling red




Tom Orr - eccentric concentric

Tom Orr  -  Eccentric concentric circles, reflecting
and refracting, casting sharp shadows




Frances Bagley - white bustless bust

Frances Bagley  -   Frances told me none of her figures
have heads, except those with no arms, legs
or bodies — a simplicity of sculptural shape.




Tom Orr - fingerprint

Tom Orr  -  Tom's fingerprint series makes
simplicity flat in dimension and hue.




Frances Bagley - butt lump

Frances Bagley  -  Frances' butt lump is not more
than the barest essentials, sparking silent titters,
second takes and thoughts.




Tom Orr - retinal rain

Tom Orr  -  Walking under a waterfall, retinas at attention, startling,
staring, not believing our eyes blurring, watery and confused.




Frances Bagley - growling animal

Frances Bagley  -  Wrapped wild animal growling and
vicious in fine, shiny fabric rippling to the floor.




Tom Orr - irregular interplay

Tom Orr  -  another interplay of textures, externally slick,
almost glossy — internally irregular, informal




Frances Bagley - lumps

Frances Bagley  -  Lumpy, more formal, slick, not shiny




Tom Orr - "drawing"

Tom Orr  -  a 3-D color drawing with splatter of reflections




Frances Bagley - Blue Horse drawings

Frances Bagley  -  The middle drawing of familiar art history shapes
notes "Blue Horses." This splatter hints a third dimension.




Tom Orr - temporary installation'

Tom Orr  -  Temporary installation illustrating the waves of watery
Colors and wet illusory shapes moiré brings. The word comes
from the French moirer, to water.




Tom Orr's gallery

Tom's gallery




Frances Bagley's gallery

Frances' gallery