Artist statement

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Robert Byron Gottschall is a master sculptor of wood, stone and bronze. For over 50 years, he has developed innovative carving techniques to create artwork that bridges past to  present and spiritual to physical. His abstract wood and stone work differs from his representational bronze work so that at first glimpse it may seem to be from different artists entirely. But further exploration into Gottschall’s biography and the sources of inspiration he feeds from, reveal an artist with unwaning passion and versatility  creating a genuinely original body of work. 

 

Gottschall was first inspired by the Eastern art and culture he witnessed growing up in Japan and Taiwan, motivating him to begin carving at age eight. After studying art and gemology at the University of Texas at Austin, he went on to train with master sculptors of wood, jade, marble, and bronze. Further study of ancient cultures, religion, spirituality, mythology, and nature’s oracles, led him to develop a range of carving techniques as vehicles for exploring the connection of organic art and transformational mythology.

 

Black walnut is his wood of choice, which he hand harvests to find the very best shapely burls . Gottschall brings complex stories to the surface of the living fabric of the wood, while the sculptures he carves  in marble, alabaster and soapstone reflect ancient universal images of Mother Earth and Father Sky, connecting us to our source. Not limited to carving wood and stone, he often uses  traditional sculpting techniques in wax to create representational bronze sculptures. 

 

This range of skills allows Gottschall to veer from the traditional into the nontraditional, and over the decades he has  developed innovative techniques he calls Fusion and Grand Fusion blending bronze, wood and  stone. Creating a unique genre of sculpture, he integrates biological, planetary  and universal imagery in search of the metaphysical thread that unites it all. 

 

“By lifting my preconceived notions of design, each piece of wood, stone and wax guides my hand to carve its stories.” Gottschall brings layers of design to life by telling the multivalent stories, past and present, of the material he is working through a profoundly sensitive and often spiritual human voice. While his sculptures certainly ’speak for themselves’, their vitality and significance are enriched  by the viewer’s interaction with them.

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EDUCATION

1965           Texas Tech University General Studies

1973           University of Texas at Austin Art and Gemology

1973           Austin Community College

Master Teachers and Mentors

 1970-72     Morey Alexander

                   Totem sculptor and tool-maker from the Lummi Nation - Bellingham, WA

1975-77      Robert Harvil 

                   Master western jade sculptor, tool-maker and gemologist - Sinton, TX

1974-77      Paul Prochnow 

                   Burl master, machinist, and blacksmith - Taught the history of hardwoods in the Texas hill country

1978-80     Jean Eymere

                   Engraver and sculptor - Aspen, CO 

Commissions: Private/PubliC/Corporate

2022         Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters

                  “Shoulder  to Shoulder II” - ⅓ life size bronze - Carson, CA

2022         Private Collection

                  “Seahorse” - 4’ bronze - Wichita, KS

2021          United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners

                  “The Carpenter” - 10 ¼  life size bronzes - Las Vegas, NV

2020         Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters

                  “Shoulder to Shoulder II” - 15 ⅓ life size bronzes - Riverside, CA - Inglewood, CA - Las Vegas, NV

2020         United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners

                  “The Carpenter” - Over life size bronze - San Francisco, CA

2018          Private Collection

                  “The Spark that Lit the Flame” - 13’’ wood, bronze and  stone original in EARTHLIGHT Series - TX

2019          Private Collection

                  “The Spark” - 13” bronze - No. 1 & 2 in the bronze edition of EARTHLIGHT - TX  

2008         Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters

                  “Shoulder to Shoulder”- 5 half life size bronzes - Albuquerque, NM - Denver, CO - Ontario, CA

2008         Private Collection

                  “Transcendent Sky” - 5’ bronze - MO

2007         Private Collection

                  “Transcendent Sea” - 5’ bronze - Aspen, CO

2006         Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters

                  “Shoulder to Shoulder” - 5 half life size bronzes - Los Angeles, CA

2006         Emerson Unitarian Church

                  “Memorial Wall” - 6’ bronze, steel and mesquite wall installation - Houston, TX

2004        Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters    

                  “Shoulder to Shoulder” - 5 half life size bronzes - Phoenix, AZ

2002        United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

                  “The Carpenter” - 2 over life size bronzes - Washington, D.C. - Las  Vegas, NV

1997          Private Collection

                  “Hatake” - 5’ wood and bronze - Wimberley, TX

1996          Wichita Center for the Arts - Mark Arts

                  “Love of The Sea” - 7’ white marble - Wichita, KS

1996          Center for Creative Leadership

                  “The Sling” - 13’ black walnut - Colorado Springs, CO

1995          Hennan Health Care System

                  “The Spinal Staircase” - 12’ bristlecone pine - Colorado Springs, CO

1984          Private Collection

                  “Ascension of Man’ - 4’ bronze - Houston, TX

1983          Unity Church of Christianity

                  “The Elements” - 4 10” sculptures in bronze and marble,  installation - Houston, TX

1983          Trammell Crow Properties

                  “Freedom” - 8’  bronze - Dallas, TX

1982          Private Collection 

                  “Freedom” - 8’ walnut - Houston, TX

1981           Paragon Corporation

                  “Spirit Emerging” -  6’  bronze - Midland, TX

1979          John and Anne Denver

                  “Dolphin Couple” - 4’ x 3’ base relief in cabin wall - appears on the album “Seasons of the Heart” - Aspen, CO

1979          City of Snowmass

                  “Dolphin Kiss” - 3’ white marble installation - CO

1978          Private Collection

                  “The Dancer” - 3’ bronze - Basalt, CO

1976          Rusty Wier

                  Custom belt buckle made of silver, turquoise and rose wood - On the cover of   “Self Titled Album” - Austin, TX

1976          Private Collection

                  "Moon Lovers” 18K gold and opal - Corpus Christi, TX

Honors and Awards

1979          Featured Artist Exhibition 

                  Capitol Building Rotunda - Denver, CO

1979          First Prize, Snowmass Sculpture Competition - Aspen, CO 

1978          Award of Merit, Aspen Public Art Commission

1976          Best of Texas Touring Exhibit

Professional Affiliations

2007-08   Uptown Blanco Art Center - Wimberley, TX

                  Instructor

1993-96    Art Student League - Colorado Springs, CO  

                  Board of Directors and Instructor

1992-95    Roby Mills Warehouse - Colorado Springs, CO

                  Founding Member and Artist

1988          Tesuque Art Association - Tesuque, NM  

                  Founder  

                  Tesuque Village Market Gallery - Tesuque, NM

                  Director  

1984-85    Jack Pierce Warehouse  - Houston, TX

                  Founding Member and Artist

1975-76     Texas Arts Alliance - Austin, TX

                  Artist Representative on the Governing Board

1974-76     Texas Arts and Crafts Foundation - Kerrville, TX

                  Artist Representative on Board of Directors

1971-72      The Drag - Austin, TX

                  Founding Member and Artist

Solo Exhibitions

1978-2004  Over 50 solo and featured artist exhibitions including: 

                    Art Expo, Los Angeles CA - Art Expo, New York NY - Davis McClain Gallery, Houston TX - Robin Stucky Gallery, Naples, FL -                             Deborah Goldstein Gallery, Johnson City TX - Sable 5 Gallery, Wimberley TX - Byrn Getz Gallery,  Aspen CO- Center for                                   Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, CO - Variant Gallery, Santa Fe NM