Werner Bargsten is a sculptor, film producer, and teacher who currently lives in Jersey City. He is best known for his abstract sculptures made of clay, resin and copper. He has been experimenting with clay as a medium for subconscious exploration for nearly 40 years. In the 1970s he co-operated Brant Lake Pottery in the Adirondacks where he specialized in slab-built pottery. He has taught Design & Sculpture at the Booker Magnet School in Sarasota, Florida, and operated ICBA inc. in New York City, producing special effects for commercials and films.
Today, the artist initiates a dialogue and intentionally leaves the viewer with the last word. What we see in his pieces are a kind of three-dimensional abstract expressionist painting through sculpture, “a world hung upon a flat surface, attempting to break that surface.” This sometimes contained world holds our stories of love and mourning-- the desire to hold on, the urge to pull away and the awareness of both. We are drawn into a world of associations which are our own.
Copper tubing holds the pieces tightly, leaving pressure marks on some, imprints on others. They stand defiantly alone, enveloped in a cocoon of metal, safely bound and neatly packaged. Some are wrapped in polished copper while others have oxidized bindings introducing subtle color to these dark, elegant forms. The surfaces are neither glossy, nor polished. Instead they feel organic, like stone, bold and resilient with smoothed surfaces, like sea glass weathered over the waves of time.
Whether the works are small or large, they demand one’s attention when anchored on the wall.
Bargsten’s work has been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions around the country, recently at the Back to Square One show at the Ward-Nasse Gallery and Open16 at FrontArt Space, both in New York City, as well as at X Contemporary/Miami Basel Art week.