Ron Isaacs and Robert Shay: Ever Wonder

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This exhibition brings together the trompe l’œil sculptures of two established artists who transform clay and plywood into tableaus of everyday items including clothing, branches, envelopes, and bowls of fruit. Their works are likely to be familiar to Lexington audiences, but Isaacs and Shay are being shown together here for the first time.

Their mastery of craft contributes to a sense of wonder, as they individually take realism to a place where magic seems to reside. Combining techniques of carving and constructing, firing and glazing, their works draw viewers in for intimate experiences of questioning and contemplation.

Ron Isaacs has said, “I am still fascinated by the old, simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: that an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the ‘reality’ of another.” His precise constructions are hard to believe, as billowing vintage fabrics, leather gloves, and various leaves reveal themselves to be all made of painted wood.

Robert Shay’s ceramic works are often untitled, but they each offer unique combinations of scale and specificity. He explores the history of still life, combining the rough or elegant shapes of oranges, lemons, and limes, with matte and glossy exteriors. The bowls and platters are equally important, offering reflections of the fruit resting in or on them, as well as the approaching observer.

Ron Isaacs, Verity, 2021, acrylic on birch plywood construction. Courtesy of the artist.
Robert Shay, Untitled, 2023, glazed ceramic. Courtesy of the artist.
Created 12/05/2023
Last Updated 05/14/2024