In the Cage
Reception : Sunday, November 11, 4-6 PM
Sculptor Burton Blistein lives in Annapolis, Maryland, where he retired in 1992 from the faculty of St. Johns College. He works in the mediums of bronze, clay, plaster, wax, cement, polyester and epoxy resins, stone and wood carving, welding, foundry, flexible and rigid mould making, enlarging. The title of this show comes from T.S. Eliots original, and later abandoned, name for the second section of his epic poem, "The Waste Land."
Self-Portrait III, bronze, 1996
At St, Johns, Blistein was formerly Artist-in-Residence, instructing sculpture, life-drawing, pottery, since 1979. He also served as director of the St, John's Mitchell Art Gallery and of the College Workshop Studio Program. He taught courses that were academically diverse, involving the seminars in the Western Literature from Homer through the Eighteenth century, Euclid and Ptolemy, measurement and chemistry. Before coming to St. Johns, he taught at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, until 1964, and at Shimer College in Illinois until 1979, giving courses in the Humanities; Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama; the critical analysis of visual art and sculpture, and of music, poetry and classical literature.
Despite his impressive academic credentials, Blisteins strong feel for intellectual culture gives him a penetrating view of history and its artistic expression. Regarding his own artistic and philosophical expressions, he resists being categorized: "The emphasis in visual art upon always having something "new" to show, confuses art with advertising and technology. I believe that the art works speak for themselves and that, whatever we might say about them would simply interfere with or limit the spectator's ruminations."
Blistein has written and lectured extensively on the arts, with articles on the contemporary importance of sculpture; art and intellect in classical antiquity; and on medieval architecture. He received his BA and MA at the University of Chicago in English Literature. He has had solo exhibitions since 1961 in Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, and in Washington, DC.
Self-Portrait I, bronze, 1999