Through the Point Cloud


James Surls ( American, 1943 )

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General Description

Sculptor James Surls affirms that drawing is not only closely related to his sculptures, but also is the essence of his art, the key to his thinking. His drawings, like his sculptures, are what he calls registered mental pictures or psychic images. This drawing, Through the Point Cloud , is reminiscent of surrealist automatism (a nonrational, uncontrolled method used to tap the subconscious), coupled with an array of rich symbolic and narrative imagery. Radiating heads and multiple eyes, hands, and needles are formed by energetic but elegant lines that vary from light to dark. Seer, shaman, and storyteller, Surls threads a layered tale of quiet, pulsating power that rhythmically combines the real and imagined, the visible and invisible, the physical and spiritual.

Adapted from

Suzanne Weaver, "Through the Point Cloud," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Charles Venable (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1997), 293.