Copper in the Arts

February 2008

Exploring Life Rhythms Through Sculpture

By Sarah S. Edmonds

David Hostetler with his work Sculptor David Hostetler

Photograph provided by Sarah S. Edmonds

The cast bronze and hand carved wood sculptures by David Hostetler all approach the depiction of the female form in strong and sensuous symmetry. Like nature itself, Hostetler focuses on endless variations of rhythms and repetitious harmonies to give his sculptures a feeling of timeless grace and powerful unity.

"My life centers around artful choices, the life rhythms, shapes and spaces and their infinite combinations," says Hostetler, who splits his time between Athens, Georgia and Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Susan own an art gallery. "The coming together of art, rhythm, forms and space can be magic. The quest for this magic gives my life purpose and provides my joy of being."

Each sculpture is fully realized when one sees the female forms that Hostetler carves and emotively casts, capturing the space around them when installed in sculptural parks and gallery spaces. His work has the power to fill a room with the presence of nature and can equally augment the natural world with a sense of powerful, yet caring order.

Hostetler's has devoted his life work to the subject of women. His sculptures honor the female form and pay homage to the physical beauty and mythical archetypes of women from pre-history to the present. This reccurring female figure has similarities in her reincarnations, but changes depending on the material used, or content desired. Hostetler's work has an angular seductress in hard edge metal, and a soulful spirit in hand carved and cast bronze.

Throughout his 55 years of work, this prolific artist explores the female figure as subject, form and content. A singular exploration that Hostetler's particular passion has not exhausted but instead, has magnified. His figures reoccur as symbols not only of strength, and femaleness, but also of totality. She is unified, whole and in her stunning, and often soothing symmetry Hostetler's women are brazen but not scalding, she is often an energy complete enough to embody both male and female.

"The goddess is a symbol of empowerment for woman that men will not resent or fear for it is a metaphor for earth as a living organism, an archetype for a balanced feminine consciousness that encompasses men and women as equals," Hostetler says of his reworking of the female form. "Maybe this is a search for the strength of women in all of us."

This search has taken David through varied artistic forms throughout the last half-century. Table top works in sleek Glasurit car enamel, larger than life sized totems in wood, bronze and artful combinations of both, architectural explorations and prints and paintings further exploring the female form and various shades of her historic archetypes.

Hostetler resides and works, with his wife, Susan Crehan Hostetler, on a 40-acre farm outside Athens, Ohio and summers in Nantucket, Massachusetts where the couple own and operate a gallery. He is also professor emeritus from Ohio University. In addition to his teaching career, Hostetler has built a national reputation with his work. His work can be seen in the collection of The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Milwaukee Museum and in public sculpture the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, and most recently in an installation at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City.

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For sales and exhibition inquiries, contact Gallery Director, Susan Crehan Hostetler.

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