Sffiri, Mark; Dodge, Robert, b.1952; b.1939, Folding Screen, 1989, lacewood, acrylic, gold leaf, H. 81 1/2 x W. 60 x D. 1 3/8 inches, James A. Michener Art Museum. Museum purchase funded by the Mandel Society for Art Acquisition.

We posed a tough image to figure out last month in our monthly mystery contest! March’s Mystery Image was Folding Screen by Mark Sfirri and Robert Dodge.  This colorful screen is one of eight that these artists created together and features a triptych effect that is carried throughout the piece.  Sffirri designed and executed the wood panels, which are punctuated with eccentric curves and angles.  Dodge then painted them, combining geometric patterning and calligraphy, to create a mix of abstract elements and architectural references.

Sfirri, craftsperson and sculptor, uses his primary tool, the lathe, to create pieces that combine concave and convex surfaces with curvilinear contours. The lathe is a machine in which work is rotated about a horizontal axis and shaped by a fixed tool.  Rejects from the Bat Factory-Exotics is an example of his detailed and refined craft.

Dodge, craftsperson, painter and sculptor,  is known for creating imaginative mixes of abstract styling in his work, using various materials and colors, and arranging them in unique patterns.  His distinct style of work can be seen in Four Plans.

Looking closer at Folding Screen, a collaborative effort of these two artists, can you pick out which part of the screen each artist worked on? How can you tell?

Have you ever collaborated on a work with another person? What was that experience like?

Be sure to visit this work in the exhibition, Intelligent Design, in the Betz Gallery!

-Sumreen Z Chaudhry, Michener Intern