Through the language of abstraction, I strive to conjure a familiar emotional presence in unfamiliar physical forms. My sculptural process is driven by this search for the unexpected, and plays out in an effort to transcend stone's resistance to spontaneous change.
My current work focuses on generating a unique interaction between rigorous geometry and fluid movement. The inherent and essential tension which exists between these poles drives my sculptural explorations. In my studio work, the core of my process and sculpture is the sustained confrontation of ambiguity as I work toward formal resolution. I begin each sculpture with a foundational form which is a component of an eventual whole that I cannot fully apprehend. By approaching each sculpture in this way, I can integrate the nuance of the unexpected into each composition.
Intimately related to this is my deeper purpose to create a series of complex interrelationships throughout a particular sculpture. My goal is to maintain the cohesion of the whole as multiple relationships unfold in a continuous, “in-the-round” flux. I am looking for synthesis and harmony, with the intention that viewers of my work can have a similar experience.
All of my sculptures are hand-carved from a single block of stone.
Jeff Metz was raised in Sudbury Massachusetts, graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and has lived in the West and Southwest for the last 25 years. Jeff began working in sculptural ceramics and stone while in high school. After college, where he earned a degree in writing and English literature, he continued his pursuit of competitive road cycling, racing throughout the U.S. on the Pro-Am circuit.
Jeff revisited ceramics upon moving to Albuquerque, NM in the 1990’s, working for several years restoring and conserving pre-Columbian pottery of the American southwest. At the same time, he continued to develop work in sculptural ceramics as well as devote several years to creating Japanese-style porcelain ware utilizing the Arita method.
In the early 2000’s, Jeff began to pursue stone carving in earnest in Santa Fe, NM. The physicality and discipline required over years in competitive endurance sport served as a perfect training ground for this shift to a more physically demanding medium. Equally foundational to this new direction was Jeff’s background in writing. The methodical approach required for constructing prose essays and fiction translated well into the subtractive process of stone carving. Jeff’s sculptures are designed in the moment, and over time throughout the carving process, an approach guided by a formal syntax and infused with the spirit of subconsciously led decision making.
In 2010, Jeff expanded his material range with the addition of steel. Recent work occasionally merges both stone and welded steel elements which has allowed for a variation of the formal vocabulary of his stone carvings. Fabricating work in steel has also facilitated the recent creation of larger scale public works.