About Phyllis Rosser
As an adult, I began collecting dead wood on the beaches near my home. Finding its energy a surrogate for my emotions, I sometimes arrange the branches into bundles of particular feelings like solitude or anger. My work represents my struggle for sensuousness by transforming and revaluing a material which is often considered refuse into an object that is beautiful and alive. Coming from a religious background, I create pieces that become the focus of meditation. Wandering within the landscape of my wall-hung sculpture may be compared to the contemplation of a Buddhist Thangka.
Some sculptures appear highly formal in composition while others seem to have fallen into place by chance. The wood, honed to its essence, is assembled to create a subtle play of color in shades of rust, hazel, silver and charcoal to make evident the ravages of time. The wall-hung sculptures include graceful traceries and densely-layered compositions and range up to eight feet in width.
My work has been viewed in ten solo shows and a number of group shows in the New York area. It is represented in the collections of artists, curators and corporations including Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. Its intertwining pieces have been compared by New York Times critic Barry Schwabsky to “the muscular brush strokes of Abstract Expressionist painters like Joan Mitchell and Willem de Kooning.”.
Using wood stripped bare of itâ€™s bark and washed smooth by the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls, Vermont, I construct dynamic forms that invite contemplation. I have been attracted to wood since childhood when I studied the shrunken grey wood fence posts and X-shaped gate that held the cows in the barnyard of my fatherâ€™s farm. Although they were dried out and lifeless, I was drawn to the harmony of their grainy patterns. I saw in them the possibility of transcending a visually dull world.