Wood as medium and subject: Don Green exhibits sculpture and landscape images in a solo show at Artworks | Arts

Green’s appreciation for natural form is evident in the grain of the wood, which he constantly emphasizes. At the same time, he performs numerous manipulations to shape and polish his wooden elements according to his own aesthetic intentions.

Green tends to favor slightly rounded shapes that resemble eggs or stones polished by wind or water. Sometimes he combines several related shapes of different sizes and shapes, and sometimes he parallels them with angular or columnar shapes. There are hints of anthropomorphism, as in an untitled sculpture roughly the size of an average adult.

This final piece – the largest in the show – sits on its own built-in base, a repurposed iron truck wheel, on which three bulbous polished wooden shapes appear to be precariously balanced.

Green’s other sculptures are smaller and independent of the plinths on which they are displayed. The series title for three of them – “Magnolia Stump” – indicates that they are made from the stump of a single magnolia tree. In all three cases, Green was evidently so taken with the inherent characteristics of wood that he left it free of the gloss finish he used on his other carvings.

Basing this selection on traditional landscape art, eight pastel drawings appear to have been drawn firsthand rather than photographs. The technique is loose and expressionistic, but the colors are true to nature and the scenes are vivid enough. Some are recognizable by the local landscape – on the grounds of Reynolda House, for example, and at Lake Salem.

Julia P. Cluff