Paul Lindhard’s longtime love affair with stone
By Claudia Pardo 07/17/2014
To dub Paul Lindhard an “established artist of excellence” could not be more deserved. Still hauling, pounding, cutting, carving and polishing stone after 40 years, Lindhard continues to innovate and inspire as a key contributor to the local art scene. Noted for envisioning and founding Art City, which currently hosts more than 20 working sculptors, Lindhard has been named this year’s ArtWalk Artist of Distinction.
Lindhard’s craft is rooted in the preservation of history. Before becoming primarily a stone sculptor, he worked with wood and bronze. Stone, however, has been his medium of choice for the past 25 years. Interestingly, stone seems to have a grounding effect on him: It transcends time yet retains the history of where it originated. Lindhard is very conscious of the origins of the medium. Equally interesting is the topography of the stone. There is granite from the Dakotas; marble from Italy, Belgium, Manitoba, Canada and the Mojave Desert; Ubatuba granite from Brazil; basalt, limestone and more.
Most satisfying is Lindhard’s sensibility. He speaks of the “song within the stone” and “preserving the voice of the stone.” It is no doubt that this heightened level of connectedness to the craft is precisely what drives his creative practice. The end result is a clear reflection of this highly sensitive nature: graceful lines, sensuous form, organic contours and elegant balance — all characteristics of his stone sculptures.
Photo by: T Christian Gapen
“Ambulating Stone,” a bulbous and smooth marble creation streaked with milky beiges and subdued magentas, tells the story of its origin years ago at the bottom of the ocean where a clam bed once existed; The imprints of clam shells are still evident on its polished surface.
“Prayer Stone” is a slab of marble from Canada shaped into a soft-edged figure that seems to sway with the poised manner of a dancer.
Lindhard also deals with space. With several landscape installations, he reshapes the environment with his sculptural designs. Some of his sculptural elements are of such monumental scale that one might be inclined to think they would oppose the environment they were placed in. His three-dimensional sculptures, however, complement the land while serving as the focal point of the landscape, a very difficult balance to achieve.
He is currently incorporating iron into his stone sculptures. Traditionally used as connecting hardware, iron pieces are usually invisible, hidden underneath the sculpture or between two slabs. Lindhard chooses to make iron visible as an integral part of his sculptures, lending them a variety of textures and compositions.
Lindhard is the quintessential Ventura artist. He is the founder of Art City Studios, lives at the WAV, teaches at Santa Barbara Community College and has played a key role in launching the careers of dozens of sculptors in the community. Considering his quiet commitment to excellence and his longtime contribution to the local art community, Lindhard is a distinguished artist with or without the much deserved title.
For more information about Paul Lindhard and Art City, visit www.artcitystudios.com or call 653-6380.