The Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present four ceramic sculptures by Dennis Gallagher. The selection shows Gallagher’s interest in forms and the figure, and his gouged and scored surfaces reflect his focus on the expressive use of the ceramic medium. Pushing the limits of clay, Gallagher’s large forms are stacked vertically, the composition of heavy sections often precariously cantilevered:
Gallagher’s sculpture seems to refer to archaeological specimens, but his intention is to discover fortuitous joinings of disparate configurations and their attendant emotional qualities. Usually, this involves the tensions generated from juxtapositions of edges, curves, and contours of massive geometric bodies.
I think art is, first and foremost, personal expression. I think every person should attempt to address the problems of the world however they can. Artists have no more responsibility to do this than anyone else. I respond to the tension and difficulty in the world with the tension in my work.
He was a friend and colleague of ceramic artist, Viola Frey; they both taught at California College of Arts and Crafts and shared a studio in Oakland.
Dennis Gallagher was born in 1952, in San Bruno, California. He received both his BA and MA from Fresno State, and went on to teach at the California College of Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College. He has completed commissions in the private and public sectors of the Bay Area and the Napa Valley, including a large-scale public installation at Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, California. His works are included in the collection of The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, The Fresno Art Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, The San Jose Museum of Art, The Rene di Rosa Preserve, Napa, The Runnymede Sculpture Park, Woodside, and The Oakland Museum of California Sculpture Court. Mr. Gallagher passed away in 2009.