PROFOUND SHAPES: THE ART OF DON OSBORN
Twenty Years in Plattsburgh, 1985-2005

Photo of sculpture, Thoughts on Pheidias
Thoughts on Pheidias, 1986, steel, Photo Credit: Neal Keach

Bullet Don Osborn
Bullet Introduction by Edward Brohel, Museum Director
Art Department at Plattsburgh State

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Essay by David Colosi
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In conversations over the past fifteen years since I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh, Don Osborn has repeatedly characterized his works as "profound shapes." Often without seeing the work, I had to imagine not only what these profound shapes looked like but also what, exactly, a "profound shape" was or could be. My task was no less than visualizing an ontology of shapes. While Minimalism gives us one model of reconciling this oxymoron, it does not give us a good model of Osborn's work. Unlike the pure forms and ideas Minimalism sought, Osborn's work, spanning a career from the 1970s to the present, has consistently explored the reinterpretation of ancient and art historical forms and myths by welding them into modern shapes and methods of narration. Thoughts on Pheidias, which stands as a groundbreaking work of the Plattsburgh State Sculpture Park, is a prime example.
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