“John Bisbee’s sculptures express his energy and restlessness, as well as his bravura in choosing to work with an unforgiving and potentially dangerous material. For some time now he has worked with nails and spikes, transforming their industrial toughness and sharp points into an amazing array of abstract forms that can be loosely organic or tightly geometric, or both at the same time. Using twelve-inch spikes as his building material, Bisbee welds the spikes into units and assembles them in shapes that are suggestive without being specific, and that embody a number of opposing characteristics. The forms can look hard or soft, organic or industrial, highly crafted or sloppily thrown together (although they’re not), delicate or strong, complex or simple.
“Following within the minimalist tradition of sculpture, Bisbee often works with repetitive serial elements and modular components that can be shaped and recombined in different configurations. Sometimes the spikes are welded together to form arcing open circles, like a tangle of brambles, or a large drawing in space. Or the spikes are welded together and bent so that when stacked, they look like bundles of branches. Bisbee’s use of the word ‘bioindustrial’ to describe his works is a most apt characterization of their origins in nature and industry.”
John Bisbee received his BFA from Alfred University (Alfred, NY) and attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He has done artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH) and Yaddo Art Colony (Saratoga Springs, NY). He has also had solo exhibitions at Plane Space Gallery (New York, NY), Albright-Knox Museum (Buffalo, NY), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), Maine College of Art (Portland), Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Brunswick, ME), Kemper Museum (Kansas City, MO), and Suyama Space (Seattle, WA). Bisbee’s work resides in a variety of collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Hugo Neu Corporation (New York, NY), and Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA. He teaches at Bowdoin College.