"Hovland is now focusing on his own sculptures ranging from large public artworks to small desktop pieces and fountains"
Artist Laird Hovland has been creating remarkable and innovative sculptures for the past 35 years, but his main bread and butter has been his foundry work providing expert lost wax casting services to top artists from around the world. Hovland is now focusing on his own sculptures ranging from large public artworks including “Fear Collector” to small desktop pieces and fountains such as “Octahedron Fountain.”
Taking inspiration from nature, Hovland’s latest series is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. His three-dimensional sculptures seek to harmonize the viewer with natural rhythms of nature. Hovland is influenced by the natural beauty and rhythm around him and draws inspiration from the realms of sacred geometry and spirituality, music and science, expressing those influences in a contemporary art context. Elements of natural growth patterns combine with philosophy and practice of new spatialism, abstract expressionism and minimalism.
“Creative intuition as well as the physical process of creation are subjects of my work, and my sculptures allow that process to reveal itself in the finished work,” says Hovland. “The biomorphic system warms the starker aesthetic of minimalism with a very human touch, and the hand of the artist is important to the finished work. The act of making art has become a spiritual practice and meditation for me and is intended as a tool of introspection and a mandala for the viewer.”
Hovland produces pieces from miniature to monumental in scale. He fabricates, forges and casts sculpture in bronze, steel, and aluminum, creating and installing works. He also constructs utilitarian works and functional pieces, ranging from restaurant furniture and signs for businesses, to garden trellises in steel, working with the client to design and build pieces to specification.
In the last 30 years, Hovland has worked on the sculptures of notable and diverse artists including Bruce Nauman, Kiki Smith, Lesley Dill, Robert Graham, Frank Gehry, Daisy Youngblood, Maya Lin, Juan Munoz, Valeska Soares, Terry Allen, Allan Houser and Roxanne Swentzell.
Sculpture Hovland has produced can be seen in major museums around the world including The Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Modern, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, SITE Santa Fe and the Venice Biennale. He has worked at numerous foundries including Bozeman Bronze, Robert Graham Studio and the American Fine Arts Foundry. Before running the Laird Hovland Sculpture Studio in Santa Fe, he worked at the Allan Houser Foundry and Dwight Hackett’s Art Foundry.
In 1984, Hovland worked for New City Editions producing Frank Gehry’s formica fish sculptures that are now on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the Jewish Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Hovland worked for Dwight Hackett’s Art Foundry in Santa Fe from 1987 to 1999, where he assisted one notable artist Kiki Smith on many of her bronzes including perhaps her most famous “Mary Magdalene.”
“The influence of other artists has stimulated my growth as an artist,” adds Hovland, “and the experience of being involved in the creative process of others has helped hone my own artistic sensibilities and informed my sense of the creative journey. Through repetition of the hard edged geometric shapes, evolves a natural flow and graceful movement. I seek to strike a balance and elegant interplay between positive and negative, technology and nature, and a simultaneous sense of order and chaos.”
Biomimetics is not a new idea. Humans have been looking at nature for answers to both complex and simple problems throughout our existence. The Fibonacci numbers are nature's numbering system and appear everywhere in nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple. The Fibonacci numbers are applicable to the growth of every living thing, including a single cell, a grain of wheat, a hive of bees, and even all of mankind.
Hovland’s sculptures and water features in cast bronze or welded steel consist of simple geometric components that together form more complex organic shapes. The work speaks as artifact and talisman, resonating primal familiarity.
About Laird Hovland
Hovland has deep spiritual influences from both Eastern and Western traditions that impact his work in profound ways. He was born in the Far East to Christian missionary parents. He spent his youth in Montana and has lived in Santa Fe for 25 years.
Hovland's work has been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art, A Corso Gallery, Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Oshara Village in Santa Fe, N.M.; Shidoni Art Gallery, Tesuque, N.M.; Tana Georgieff Gallery of Fine Art, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin and Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, M.T.
Hovland is looking for gallery representation in national and international markets. Monumental sculptures are priced up to $20,000; smaller works start at $1,000.