Pile the Wood High!, a new exhibition of sculpture, drawing, and collage organized by Rice Professor Lisa Lapinski, celebrates generational influences and enduring connections among art students and teachers who are also working artists. Three generations of artists are represented, including noted California sculptor Hirsch Perlman, chair of UCLA’s Department of Art; Lapinski, who was a graduate student of Perlman’s at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in the 1990s; and Anna Helm, Lapinski’s student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The droll title, Pile the Wood High!, points to the exhibition’s playful tone as well as the material—finished hardwoods used by each artist. Perlman’s abstract wooden figures, Humanitas Equanimitas (2016), suggest a ritualistic gathering of couples, while Lapinski’s Little My #3 (Shaker board) (2017) wraps around the exhibition space just above the viewer’s head. Helm’s Unhushuwule Picnic Table (2017) displays humorous play on words beneath its intricately painted gingham cloth covering.
This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiatives Fund at Rice University.