PLATTSBURGH Noah Savett’s hands are a testament to decades of bending metal to his exacting mind.
The Plattsburgh State Art Museum hosts an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 31, for his new exhibition, “Dreams & Visions: The Art of Noah Savett,” featuring 68 preliminary drawings, maquettes and sculptures.
Commercial Steel Fabrication is his business venture in Gansevoort. He creates his art in Westside Irons Works in Saratoga Springs.
His influences include leading 20th century sculptors such as David Smith, Claus Oldenburg and Jean Tingueley.
Savett’s installations can be found at Adirondack Community College, Saratoga County Arts Council Gallery and Saratoga Public Library.
WORKING WITH WOOD
“Hillbilly Furniture” is one of the works in “Dreams and Visions.”
“Wood resonates with me as a material to work with, but most of my work has been metal,” said Savett, who studied art at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
“I’ve been gravitating a little toward wood, and I also have some forest or woods where my commercial business is. I’ve been collecting pieces.”
“Hillbilly Furniture” is a multi-table fabrication for drinks, drawings, ashtray, cigars, etc.
“This is a found-object table,” he said. “I wanted to try to match that (found table) so I made the wood for these three tables I milled from apple-tree wood that I found on my property. I added pieces that I thought were interesting. My son said it looked like hillbilly furniture, so …"
Many of his metal works are fabricated and/or cast from steel and bronze. Some are sleek. Others are textured.
All have a presence that cannot be ignored, even when he takes a departure, in the instance of “Dreams,” which features tie wires from steel bundles in an abstract composition.
“Over the years, I have collected little pieces of this, and I thought it was interesting and had kind of an organic sense to them,” Savett said. “I’ve done a number of drawings mixing them together.”
Besides the found table in “Hillbilly Furniture,” Savett utilized culvert pipe in “Reclining Figure.”
A friend who worked for a contractor dumped off a bunch of culvert pipe that had been torn out before installation of new pipes.
“It was all twisted because of the way they tore it out,” Savett said. “He threw it in my yard, and I looked at it for a number of years.”
The twisted culvert, minimally manipulated, rests on a wood base.
“I actually bought this as one large piece. It sat outside for a long time. I made a composition I thought would be interesting.”
One of his earliest works in the show is "Lil’ Dynamo."
This was one that surfaced from his incessant drawings, hundreds each year, thumbnails and more elaborate drawings. from which he selects 50 and from that five that are strong enough to make a sculpture.
“That’s the process for the majority of the large pieces here,” Savett said.
Email Robin Caudell:rcaudellpressrepublican.comTwitter: RobinCaudellIF YOU GO WHAT: "Dreams & Visions: The Art of Noah Savett" through Feb. 23. WHEN: Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 WHERE: Joseph C. and Joan T. Burke Gallery, Myers Fine Art Building, SUNY Plattsburgh HOURS: Noon-4 p.m. daily. Closed legal holidays. PHONE: 564-2474