Martha Sturdy

March 2021
San Francisco

Sturdy says of her work, “by paring down to the most animal of basic shapes I ask if we can truly intellectualize the profound simplicity of our natural environment.” Sturdy’s sculptures capture a mingled sense of awe through their large scale, strength in their graphic shapes, and approachable comfort in their inviting texture, culminating in an understated elegance. 

SAN FRANCISCO

UNION SQUARE

 

341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm

Sunday by appointment 

415.392.2299

ST. HELENA

NAPA VALLEY

 

1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday 11am - 5pm

707.200.5050

MONTECITO

SANTA BARBARA

 

1266 Coast Village Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Monday, Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, 11am - 5pm

Tuesday - Wednesday by Appointment

805.770.7170

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

All rights reserved.

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Biography

Sculptor Martha Sturdy takes inspiration from nature in her native British Columbia, a region known for the stunning beauty of its mountains, forests, and coastline. For years she has been observing the land on her farm north of Vancouver, noticing everything from the texture of ice to the shapes of individual trees to the line of the hills, often exploring by horseback. A free-range, organic, yet meticulous sensibility infuses her sculptures: bold, clean, elemental forms executed in a revolving selection of brass, wood, steel, and resin. As in nature, simplicity and complexity are in constant tension and balance, with basic forms offset by intricate, earthy textures.

Each of Study’s sculptures radiates a unique character, a larger-than-life personality born of the artist’s sharp insights into life and nature and her willingness to let her materials speak for themselves. Ribbons of brass cascade and loop, knot and crumple, echoing life’s unexpected situations. Blackened towers made of cedar logs that she splits, chars, and finishes by hand showcase the grain and knots in the wood—the tree’s secret history. Spheres, triangles, and cubes made of brightly colored resin stack into tall, whimsical totems designed to ignite optimism in her viewers: “I am determined to influence people to look at color and how beautiful it is.”

Sturdy’s work calls to mind sculptors as varied as Barbara Hepworth, Louise Nevelson, Peter Shire, and Isamu Noguchi, the latter two of whom also combined practices of design and art. Still renowned for her wearables and furniture that she began producing after studying sculpture at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in the 1970s, Sturdy’s large-scale artworks represent a return to her roots. Her many accolades include an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, a Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, a permanent installation in the Vancouver Olympic Village, a permanent installation in downtown Tokyo, and induction into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Born
1942 Vancouver, Canada


Selected Exhibitions
2013 Breaking, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Acid On Steel, Landscape, Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring BC
Touch Wood,Vandusen, Duthie Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2012 Living & Design, Osaka, Japan
Living Turned Art, Seoul, Korea
2011 Autumn & Winter: Reflections, Orie Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Canadian Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
2007 Solo Exhibition, Sopa Fine Art, Kelowna, BC



Outdoor Installations/Public Art
2012 (Untitled) #12, Tokyo City Center, Tokyo Japan
2011 (Untitled) #16, (Untitled) #11, Crunch #1,Baku Flame Towers, Baku, Azerbaijan
2010 Commission, Vancouver Olympic Village, Vancouver, Canada
Reflections, Tokyo Design Week, Tokyo Japan
2008 (Untitled) #111, The Pemberton Sculpture Project, Pemberton, Canada
2007 (Untitled) #24, Vancouver General Hospital, Wellness Garden, Vancouver Canada
2010 Disk, Sheraton Wall Center, Vancouver Canada



Selected Publications
1843, October 2018, Charred Cedar Wood
Hole & Corner, September 2018, Profile Feature
Wallpaper*, July 2018, Cover: Chief Round Stool, X Sculpture
Interior Design, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Elle Canada, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Monocle, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ad India, May 2018, Resin Art Screen
Ad Germany, May 2018, Resin Furniture, X Sculpture
Ad Middle East, April 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ad France, January 2018, Chief Cube Stool
Dezeen, January 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ft How To Spend It, July 2017, Resin Furniture Feature
Evening Standard, May 2017, Resin Furniture Feature
Wallpaper*, April 2017, Chief Cube Stool
House & Garden, March 2017, Undulating #17
Wsj Off Duty, February 2017, Steel Art Screen
Sleeper, November 2016, Lunar Sphere
Vogue Living Australia, November 2016, House Feature
Vancouver Sun, June 2016, Profile Feature
Wallpaper*, March 2016, Profile Feature
The Telegraph Luxury, April 2017, Profile Feature
Architectural Digest, May 2012, Wire Sphere Lamp
Architectural Digest, Feb 2011, Profile And House Feature
Nuvo, May 2009, Profile Feature
Globe And Mail, 2009, Profile Feature
Vogue, America, March 1989, Sculpture Feature
Vogue, America, June 1988, Sculpture Feature

Press

PRESS

Selected Artworks

Born
1942 Vancouver, Canada


Selected Exhibitions
2013 Breaking, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Acid On Steel, Landscape, Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring BC
Touch Wood,Vandusen, Duthie Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2012 Living & Design, Osaka, Japan
Living Turned Art, Seoul, Korea
2011 Autumn & Winter: Reflections, Orie Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Canadian Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
2007 Solo Exhibition, Sopa Fine Art, Kelowna, BC



Outdoor Installations/Public Art
2012 (Untitled) #12, Tokyo City Center, Tokyo Japan
2011 (Untitled) #16, (Untitled) #11, Crunch #1,Baku Flame Towers, Baku, Azerbaijan
2010 Commission, Vancouver Olympic Village, Vancouver, Canada
Reflections, Tokyo Design Week, Tokyo Japan
2008 (Untitled) #111, The Pemberton Sculpture Project, Pemberton, Canada
2007 (Untitled) #24, Vancouver General Hospital, Wellness Garden, Vancouver Canada
2010 Disk, Sheraton Wall Center, Vancouver Canada



Selected Publications
1843, October 2018, Charred Cedar Wood
Hole & Corner, September 2018, Profile Feature
Wallpaper*, July 2018, Cover: Chief Round Stool, X Sculpture
Interior Design, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Elle Canada, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Monocle, May 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ad India, May 2018, Resin Art Screen
Ad Germany, May 2018, Resin Furniture, X Sculpture
Ad Middle East, April 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ad France, January 2018, Chief Cube Stool
Dezeen, January 2018, Resin Furniture Feature
Ft How To Spend It, July 2017, Resin Furniture Feature
Evening Standard, May 2017, Resin Furniture Feature
Wallpaper*, April 2017, Chief Cube Stool
House & Garden, March 2017, Undulating #17
Wsj Off Duty, February 2017, Steel Art Screen
Sleeper, November 2016, Lunar Sphere
Vogue Living Australia, November 2016, House Feature
Vancouver Sun, June 2016, Profile Feature
Wallpaper*, March 2016, Profile Feature
The Telegraph Luxury, April 2017, Profile Feature
Architectural Digest, May 2012, Wire Sphere Lamp
Architectural Digest, Feb 2011, Profile And House Feature
Nuvo, May 2009, Profile Feature
Globe And Mail, 2009, Profile Feature
Vogue, America, March 1989, Sculpture Feature
Vogue, America, June 1988, Sculpture Feature

Biography

Sculptor Martha Sturdy takes inspiration from nature in her native British Columbia, a region known for the stunning beauty of its mountains, forests, and coastline. For years she has been observing the land on her farm north of Vancouver, noticing everything from the texture of ice to the shapes of individual trees to the line of the hills, often exploring by horseback. A free-range, organic, yet meticulous sensibility infuses her sculptures: bold, clean, elemental forms executed in a revolving selection of brass, wood, steel, and resin. As in nature, simplicity and complexity are in constant tension and balance, with basic forms offset by intricate, earthy textures.

Each of Study’s sculptures radiates a unique character, a larger-than-life personality born of the artist’s sharp insights into life and nature and her willingness to let her materials speak for themselves. Ribbons of brass cascade and loop, knot and crumple, echoing life’s unexpected situations. Blackened towers made of cedar logs that she splits, chars, and finishes by hand showcase the grain and knots in the wood—the tree’s secret history. Spheres, triangles, and cubes made of brightly colored resin stack into tall, whimsical totems designed to ignite optimism in her viewers: “I am determined to influence people to look at color and how beautiful it is.”

Sturdy’s work calls to mind sculptors as varied as Barbara Hepworth, Louise Nevelson, Peter Shire, and Isamu Noguchi, the latter two of whom also combined practices of design and art. Still renowned for her wearables and furniture that she began producing after studying sculpture at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in the 1970s, Sturdy’s large-scale artworks represent a return to her roots. Her many accolades include an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, a Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, a permanent installation in the Vancouver Olympic Village, a permanent installation in downtown Tokyo, and induction into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.