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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Stickwork" by Patrick Dougherty

Softcover, 208 pages, 230 color illustrations, 20 black & white illustrations; 7 x 9.5 inches.

ISBN-13 9781568989761, November 2010.

Published by Princeton Architectural Press:
Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist Patrick Dougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape.
With a dazzling variety of forms seamlessly intertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives. Over the last twenty-five years, Dougherty has built more than two hundred works throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia that range from stand-alone structures to a kind of modern primitive architecture—  every piece mesmerizing in its ability to fly through trees, overtake buildings, and virtually defy gravity.

Stickwork, Dougherty's first monograph, features thirty-eight of his organic, dynamic works that twist the line between architecture, landscape, and art.

Constructed on-site using locally sourced materials and local volunteer labor, Dougherty's sculptures are tangles of twigs and branches that have been transformed into something unexpected and wild, elegant and artful, and often humorous. Sometimes freestanding, and other times wrapping around trees, buildings, railings, and rooms, they are constructed indoors and in nature. As organic matter, the stick sculptures eventually disintegrate and fade back into the landscape.

Featuring a wealth of photographs and drawings documenting the construction process of each remarkable structure, Stickwork preserves the legend of the man who weaves the simplest of materials into a singular artistic triumph.

Photos taken on March 25, 2013, of an installation by Patrick Dougherty currently on view on the campus of Washington University in Saint Louis.

From an article on "Double or Nothing" by Liam Otten on the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts web site:
There is an undeniable romanticism to the sculpture of Patrick Dougherty. Working with the simplest of materials -- sticks, branches, and saplings -- the North Carolina-based artist creates playful architectural forms that variously suggest nests, primitive shelters, and fairy-tale castles.

This fall, Dougherty enlisted dozens of students to help construct "Double or Nothing", a new commission for Washington University in St. Louis' Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Located along Forsyth Boulevard, on the south lawn of Givens Hall, the piece consists of two large woven-wood structures, each rising approximately 20 feet in the air.

"I think of myself as a sculptor, and I think of sticks as worthy sculptural material," says Dougherty, the Sam Fox School's 2011 Louis D. Beaumont Artist in Residence.

"People have a visceral response and connection to sticks," says Dougherty, who to date has created approximately 200 "stickworks," as he calls them. "People tell stories about their favorite trees. I just had to figure out what birds and beavers already knew about fitting sticks together."

"Double or Nothing" grew out of a master class, titled "Stickwork on Campus," co-taught by Dougherty and Ron Fondaw, professor of art. (Funding for the project was provided by the Sam Fox School Dean's Office and by the Colleges of Art and Architecture.)

Sixteen graduate and advanced undergraduate students—drawn from art, architecture, and the new Master of Landscape Architecture program—met with Dougherty for an initial site visit last August, then attended a series of lectures on public art and architecture.