54" x 27" x 29"
Recognized as an emblem of the American South, the magnolia's sweet, distinct citrus smell, broad white blossoms, and ephemeral beauty have been a source of inspiration and an important subject in the work of Dallas-based sculptor and painter, David Bates. For over 25 years Bates has painted a magnolia each year as a benchmark of his artistic process and development. Cast in 2000, Black Magnolia II is a large, deconstructed bloom that speaks to the artist's interest in materiality, cubist forms, and the overlap between the disciplines of painting and sculpture. With the rod-like metal armature of the petals protruding from the roughly textured bronze blossom, Black Magnolia II combines the painterly aesthetic of a built-up impasto surface with framed negative space, allowing the monumental magnolia to be both a sculptural form and a drawing in space. In dialogue with the artist's vast body of painted floral still-lifes, Black Magnolia II is a continuation of Bates's annual investigation of the bloom as a Southern symbol, a nostalgic medium, and also as a rich form for dissection and artistic innovation.