About the Author: Camille Benton serves as a Curator for ART in EMBASSIES.
As NATO ministers meet this week to discuss collaborative approaches to contemporary issues, we are reminded that artists also offer insightful approaches to current issues, especially those that concern the global community.
Gyöngy Laky is a Hungarian-born, San Francisco-based artist, who uses materials found in nature -- primarily orchard debris, park trimmings, and street tree prunings -- and artfully combines them with recycled and industrial elements to create dynamic sculptural objects that reveal a profound respect for nature. The artist explains, "Of course I want that my art moves the viewer visually with beautiful, interesting or attractive forms. But I find it at least just as interesting that each symbol radiates a statement. I hope people understand this and that it gets them thinking…"
Laky's Go And... (pictured above left, with a detail to the right) is a stylized ampersand sign, made of ash branches, paint, and screws, and is part of a series that finds its form in the exploration of letters, words, and symbols. The work is included in Art Across the Atlantic, the ART in EMBASSIES exhibition at Truman Hall, residence of the U.S. Ambassador to NATO. The exhibition is comprised of works by European-born artists who have worked in the United States and U.S. artists who have worked in Europe, and reflects the creativity and innovation of our transatlantic societies.
Gyöngy Laky is a Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and was one of the first textile artists to be commissioned by the Federal Art-in-Architecture Program. She completed undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and founded the internationally acclaimed Fiberworks, Center for the Textile Arts, there in 1973. Her work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian's Renwick Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others. Her papers are housed in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art and her Oral History is in the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley.