MARK LINDQUIST, CAPTIVE OF THE SPOON  1987, Split White Ash, Chainsaw/Lathe Turned/Carved, 8"H x 8"W x 24"L


Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Side View Top

Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Opposite Side View Top

Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Back View

Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Side View

Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Side View Top



Mark Lindquist, Captive of the Spoon - Signed on bottom "Mark Lindquist 1987 Split Ash"



The theme of an artwork trapped within the block of material from which it will be freed by the sculptor has intrigued and motivated Lindquist from his years as an art student in the late 60s to the present. This theme is the basis of a continuing series of sculptures Lindquist began in 1982. The “Captives,” or “Prisoners” as he called the first pieces in this series, grew out of Lindquist’s art historical studies and his photographic juxtapositions of his early bowls with the wood from which they came. The “Captives” are not only self- portraits, but also parodies of the famous “Prisoners” of Michelangelo, a series of sculptures of slaves left unfinished, appearing to struggle for release from the block of marble.

Michelangelo’s “Prisoners” were intended to function architecturally as support elements for a tomb. The name “Prisoners” appears to derive both from the subject of the sculpture, the captive slave, and the sixteenth century term for a load-bearing figurative sculpture, “prigione.” This is the equivalent of the Greek caryatid, which is historically a draped female figure. In addition to showing the incomplete release of a form from its original material, the “Prisoners” also show the tension inherent in a sculpture whose form is constrained by intended functionality. Lindquist’s “Captives” comment on that duality, with the non-used functional form being the bowl, rather than the load-bearing column.

See more of the history of the development of Mark Lindquist's Captive Series Sculptures here:

Captive of the Spoon is a seminal work in the series. Lindquist used a split piece of white ash, as the main body of the spoon and chainsaw/lathe carved the inner bowl, and used the cone separation technique to suggest the bowl forms.  As with all the "Captives," the bowl or vessel struggles to be free from the block and the statement is underscored by the split wooden form that naturally suggests the spoon.  The viewer may think about the many ways a spoon can be seen in the block. The spoon is symbolic of the captive bowl seeking freedom from the handle.  Perhaps the handle and the spoon bowl are each seeking freedom from their imprisonment within the material. 

Not only do we see how the spoon is born of the wood, but also how split wood naturally suggests the simple spoon. The idea of the bowl and the spoon are archetypal, yet the bowl and the spoon and the block in one statement become a narrative about the sculptor's struggle to find form within substance. Celebrating these three elements together moves beyond the spoon into the realm of sculpture.




Mark Lindquist Totemic Covered Jar  |  Spoonerism  |  Captive of the Spoon  |  3 Spoons  |  Sculptural Spoon




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