April 9, 2002
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Francis Cape, sculptor and artist-residence at Amherst College, will give a talk called “Making Art in Fast Forward: From 1402 to 2002 in 27 ½ Years.” on Monday, April 29 at 4:15 p.m. in Room 115 in Fayerweather Hall at Amherst College. His talk will be free and open to the public.
Cape handcrafts faux cabinets and woodwork that are handsome but hardly utilitarian: meant to be seen rather than used. After beginning his training in wood carving as a young man in England, Cape subsequently turned to sculpture in order to “get with the twentieth century,” he says. Since then he has earned an international reputation for his sculpture.
“The 1402 is a somewhat arbitrary date,” Cape admits, “but I will be starting the talk with tales of my apprenticeship, when I did work on restoration that would have included that century at least. It seemed relevant to tell that story, including the decisions that changed my work, moving it in effect through the centuries, to culminate in my presence here teaching a class in Issues in Contemporary Art.”
In a review in The New York Times last fall, critic Ken Johnson wrote, “An expert woodworker, Francis Cape builds mock cabinets and architectural structures that operate in the overlap between Pop and Minimalism.” He praised Cape’s “constructions, with their Shaker-style elegance and tastefully muted colors,” and noted that “if you saw this in a home design store, you wouldn’t think twice about it; in the gallery it is perplexing—a philosophical riddle. For all its well-built concreteness, it isn’t what it appears to be.”