Ricardo Arango uses various media in his sculptures such as ceramics, glass, marble, and steel. Arango sometimes explores the combination of all these different elements in one piece. His work highlights the beauty of each material as he places the diverse materials in unique arrangements. There are soft edges, sharp points, rounded forms, vibrant colors, and Arango maintains a steady commitment to composition throughout his process. He says, “The diverse qualities of materials excite my imagination such as the flexibility of clay, the rigidity of metal, and the fluid nature of fired glass. I create seeking to explore the visual relationships between the materials in creating new forms.” Inspired by the sculpture of Anthony Caro, Louise Nevelson, Omar Rayo, and David Smith, Arango creates his own concepts with an underlying interest in uplifting the spirit of his audience.
Marble is a very rigid and strong material to carve. Marble gives me a different experience than creating with metal and ceramic. I paint some of the marble pieces and then I carve through the painted surface then I combine marble with metal. I create functional pieces such as tables in collaboration with Professor Thomas Lollar, who draws on the piece of the marble. I take the marble to my studio where I carve. I love to work on the marble it is a very beautiful ancient material.
Clay inspires me in another way as it is soft and can be manipulated in a way unlike steel. Clay does not require tools as one’s hands are the main tool. I like the spontaneous quality of clay as forms spring from thoughts. I feel attached to recycling of materials in creating my art as I feel it addresses issues related to environmentalism.
I like working with metal, it is the often the first medium with which contemporary artists like to create. I began to weld metal sculpture at the famous Arts Students League school in New York. Distinguished artists such as Louise Nevelson and David Smith worked at this school. Their sculpture inspired my work in steel. I began to explore the combination of other materials such as clay and glass.
I have had the privilege of seeing Ricardo Arango develop into a sculptor of amazing creative abilities. His remarkable use of found materials; recycled metal and glass in combination with marble and ceramic draws the interest of art collectors and curators alike.
As a professor in ceramics and clay sculpture for over three decades at Teachers College/Columbia University in New York, I have seen and worked with a number of artists. Ricardo’s unique embrace of diverse materials has resulted in our collaborating as artists on projects. The Ancient Mirror series is a perfect example of our creating together. These sculptures are inspired by Ancient Etruscan and Roman Hand mirrors. Ricardo developed a technique whereby I do the linear drawn imagery and he applies crushed glass to the surface before firing. Because of his innovative welding ideas, he creates the unusual supports and handles for our mirror sculptures. We are invited to exhibit the Ancient Mirror sculpture at the Venice Biennale 2022.
Ricardo Arango’s Oracle wall pieces attest to the visual impact of creatively combining clay, glass and welded steel. The mysterious experience in looking into the melted glass and clay discs, surrounded by what appears to be floating metal and organic forms is memorable. The viewer is drawn into the “lightness” created by the artist when realizing the materials are hard and often seen as static.
Arango’s art is spontaneous and creates a powerful visual dynamic and unique in his ability to marry diverse materials. He is a younger generation of expressionist sculptors with inspiration from artists such as Sir Anthony Caro and Louise Nevelson.
Thomas W. Lollar
Arts & Humanities
Teachers College/ Columbia University
New York City
ASL – Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery 2008-2016
BWAC – Brooklyn New York 2008-2010
Berry Hill Gallery 2009
Bridge Gallery – New York – 2010
Emporium Gallery NYC 2012-Present
Prestige Gallery – New York 2014 -Present
Lincoln Center Art Fair, NYC 2014 – 2016
Nova Antigua Gallery Pelham NYC 2014-2015
ASCA-(AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS) – 2014-2016
Macy Gallery, Teachers College/Columbia University 2014-2016
City arts Gala Exhibition NYC 2015-2016
American Fríends Of Museums in Israel Gala Exhibition 2015-2016
River Front Gallery-Yonkers Public Library NYC 2016