Joseph Fichter: Clarion Call
Joseph Fichter’s horse sculptures are more than descriptions of living animals: they are dynamic depictions of energy in motion. In some ways they are bold, three-dimensional drawings, their hard metal tracing remarkably sleek, effortless lines.
Fichter gives strands of metal an almost calligraphic quality as they sketch out the barest outline of the animal’s silhouette. He articulates musculature by
adding robust, shaped metal panels, in turn creating open spaces that further define the animal and its movement.
Representational but with an abstract flavor, these are very satisfying works, at once simple and complex,subtle and robust.
– Mara Williams, curator
Prior to beginning this current series of horse sculptures, I was creating abstract forms in steel. Making horse sculptures was a natural progression, in part because I share the building that houses my Putney, Vermont, studio with several horses.
The union of horse barn and sculpture studio benefits my work. The majestic equine form and the forces of a horse in motion inspire me as I continue to explore the possibilities of steel. I have spent many hours studying my family’s horses both from my studio windows and also up close in the pasture. Carrots and apples are a vital investment.
The horse is not the only inspiration behind these sculptures. The steel itself, the history of where it has been, and the potential of what it can be are driving forces in the poetry I endeavor to impart.
Some of my materials come to me new, clean, and straight. Some I acquire from scrap yards. By forging, cutting, shearing, bending, and welding, I manipulate the new and the used to create a harmony of forces. In creating this balance, I am attentive to both the arrangement of the material and the composition of the surrounding spaces. My working process, a marriage of a compulsion to control and a celebration of the spontaneous, results in one-of-a-kind sculptures of horses.
I thrive on the new discoveries I find in each piece of metal. This deep respect for the material and the working process are key elements that inform my work.
While I strive to be true to the spirit of these beautiful creatures, I hope the viewer sees in my sculptures more than horses. I’d like these sculptures to be seen as artworks that explore composition, movement, and space.
– Joseph Fichter
Click here to download the gallery brochure for this exhibit.