Robin Griffiths: A Mechanical Advantage

Sept. 13, 2008 - Oct. 4, 2008

Opening reception Sept. 13, 2008, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Robin Griffiths, a mid-career sculptor, personifies the mad scientist/artist. Indeed, Griffiths teaches math at Miami Dade College, is an electrician, and maintains a sculpture studio whose creative chaos rivals that of Jean Genet's descriptions of Alberto Giacometti's studio. His sculptures demonstrate Griffiths' knowledge of physics and his sense of dangerous beauty.

This September the namesake piece in Griffiths' exhibition demonstrates how much mechanics can exponentially increase the force of a simple touch. In the shape of a wishbone, a cable is strung tightly between the two ends. Another line bisects it, making a 'T' form that is the nexus of the mechanical advantage. The sculpture's form evokes a harp, a symbol of ordered, heavenly music. And yet the combined raw force of physics and wood belie the comparison with those sleek string instruments of the past.

The works in the show will demonstrate the mechanics of circuitry, electronics, springs and beauty. Or is it the beauty of mechanics?

On Saturday, September 20th at 2 pm, in the spirit of his teaching career and the scientific aspects of his artistic practice, Griffiths will give a lecture on the mechanics and physics of his sculptures. Griffiths will play himself. There will be a blackboard and chalk. Visitors are asked to observe, linger and learn. Chairs, desks, pencil and paper will be provided.

Born Robert Edwin Griffiths in Long Island in 1958, Griffiths moved to South Florida in the 1960s. Since then he has been an eagle scout, an electrician, a student, audiophile, sculptor, teacher and accumulator extraordinaire. The intensity with which he sees and experiences the world is something he tries to capture in the objects he collects. His South Miami house is a wunderkabinet of intimate and curious objects. This place, his home and studio, are a source of his creativity and his 'Ball and Chain.' Robert Chambers titled Griffiths' first solo show with this phrase in 1999 at Dorsch Gallery, in the gallery's walk-up location. Griffiths had recently gotten his MFA from the University of Miami sculpture program, after having also gotten a Master's in mathematics and computer science. Since then, he has done several collaborations with Chambers, including 'Soundwell' at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami in 1993. This will be his fifth solo exhibition at Dorsch Gallery. One of these exhibitions was 'Spue' in 2004, which Paula Harper, an Art History Professor at UM, reviewed in Art in America. He has been in numerous group shows in Miami, including SITES 2004 at Lummus Park and other shows at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Lowe Art Museum. He is an inspiration to generations of Miami artists.