CHICAGO, Ill., October 24, 2005 —Scott Grove, an award-winning American artist and studio furniture maker, is showing one of his new gem tables this week at the Twelfth Annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) in Chicago, represented in Booth #528 by Function+Art, a local gallery. Called Poly Idol, this new gem table is based on Tutankhamen’s funereal trappings and is reflective of the hidden treasures found in the Pharaoh’s tomb.
Grove first saw the King Tut’s exhibition in New York City in the 1970’s and was profoundly affected by the collection. Today his artwork reflects and interprets the awe he felt for the mysteries of the Boy King, and he looks forward to viewing the next exhibition currently touring the United States.
“The idea of finding and uncovering hidden treasures has always fascinated me,” said Grove. “My latest artwork reveals jeweled mysteries much as Tut’s tomb discovery did.”
Poly Idol is a combination of aboriginal-styled wood pedestals that mimic some of the shaped wood found in the Tut exhibit, displaying a gem-encrusted top reminiscent of Tut’s jewelry, covered by a “fabric” sheet. The intriguing part of this piece is that the “sheet” is trompe l’oeil carved from a solid piece of domestic sycamore covering a relic-like alter of inlaid sterling silver and semi-precious gems of malachite, mother-of-pearl, onyx, lapis, goldstone, and others. Many of the stones that Grove uses are in King Tut’s artifacts and color palette.
Grove said, “It’s as if this table has been stored in my grandmother’s basement, only to be discovered once again as the sheet is pulled back.” Grove’s work focuses on the concept of discovery and unknown mystery. “The mystery of a ‘buried treasure’ brings out the child’s curiosity in me,” he added.
Grove’s artwork encourages viewers to discover the nature of the piece and spend time viewing it. There is a delayed response as observers comprehend the idea of treasure hidden beneath the sheet, and it begs the questions – What is it? How old is this? How long has it been here? These questions are the same Grove had when he first saw the Tut exhibit.
His work is also characterized by touchable textures; he overwhelms his audience’s senses through three-dimensional carving and hand-rubbed finishes that bring out the wood’s color and depth. Using rhythmic patterns of gems set with subtle looseness entices the viewer to admire as well to touch these pieces.
“Scott’s artwork is a refreshing blend of fine craftsmanship and contemporary composition with innovative and unique themes that stimulate the senses,” said Scott Patria, director, Function+Art. “We’re happy to be showing his new gem table at SOFA.”
Function+Art is a nationally-recognized showcase for handcrafted Studio Furniture and the (functional) decorative object located in Chicago’s exciting West Loop. We passionately promote the coexistence of usefulness and beauty, and seek to obliterate the distinction between fine craft and fine art by featuring the work of artisans possessing a painter’s eye and a sculptor’s hands – primarily in wood, metal and ceramics. For more information, directions, or to view our extensive roster of talent, www.functionart.com
About Scott Grove
Scott Grove is an award-winning artist who creates unique contemporary art and works personally with architects, designers, collectors and others to ensure a creative solution that meets their desire and imaginative vision. Grove is a true craftsman who uses a broad media mix, ranging from wood to fiberglass to precious metals and semi-precious gems. Even with the newest of manmade materials and modern technology, his work reflects his respect for the traditional work ethic. Whether large installations or individual pieces, it is Grove’s exceptional skill and freedom from conventional design and thinking that allows him to produce such visually tantalizing artwork.