By Yossi Marchette
Founder of the ‘Pura’ art movement, Jewish-American artist DovBer Marchette, formerly known as Barry Marchette, has explored unique ideas in the creative process for over 50 years. Trained as a professional sculptor, his body of work actually represents a wide range of materials and concepts from the modern art world. Currently DovBer works mainly with wood sculpture as well as painting, drawing, and photography.
I continually explore the idea of unlimited creative possibilities within strong boundaries. I limit certain factors such as my color palette and working with resources that are available in the moment.DovBer Marchette
He studied at Mass College of Art and California College of Art and taught Studio Art and 20th Century Art History at the Art Institute of Boston for sixteen years. In addition to teaching in college, he developed unique methods of art education for children and adults.
When it comes to artistic creativity, for Marchette, an idea is never finite. Rather it molds his work as the artistic process continues. He never has a preconceived notion of what the end result will look like, and works conceptually until the piece is finished. Sometimes DovBer can change direction as the process evolves.
Whatever Marchette created, he tried to make it unique, often working with limited materials that are available at the moment – be it painting, drawing, sculpture or photography. He has explored all of the aspects of modern art, from minimalism and conceptual art to abstract expressionism and massive steel sculptures. In fact two of Marchette’s sculptures are permanently displayed at Josiah Haynes School as well as Temple Beth El, in Sudbury, Massachusetts. In 1978, having received a federal grant, he was honored to serve as the artist in residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which maintains archival photographic copies of his work in their library.
Marchette learned about the history of art from art itself. After teaching studio art at the Art Institute of Boston for nine years, he then taught art history for seven years. His class was one of the most appreciated. With his students, he actually created a new movement called ‘Pura’ after the end of the Modernism. Pura’s purpose was to purify the creativity of the art object.
The world could greatly benefit from revisiting Marchette’s accomplishments, especially in current times. We ought to recognize the value of Marchette’s 50 years of work – starting from to the New Avant Garde period of the 60s and 70s. We can certainly learn from his thought and techniques how to explore the creativity in our own lives through the process of using limited resources.
While teaching at the art institute, DovBer and his students produced a large number of prominent temporary installations: a cross walk painted in blue, green and brown; “The Vernacular” a rope bridge 900 feet long suspended between two tall buildings in downtown Boston; and a twelve-point star made of rope that began at the roof of the Boston Common Garage.
Having taught history on the college level for seven years provided me with the opportunity to grow intellectually and to develop an understanding of the “Creative Process” from Impressionism through the “Conceptual Movement.”DovBer Marchette
His own work has been influenced by many of the important artists, both contemporary and classical, such as:
Sculpture: Betzalel ben Yehudah, Michelangelo, Rodin, and David Smith.
Painting: Van Gogh, Kandinsky, and Pollock.
Art History: Clement Greenberg and John Elderfield.
Performance: Gilbert & George
Mixed Media: Schwitters, Kienholz, Rauschenberg.
DovBer Marchette had a particularly strong connection with the late Solomon (Sol) LeWitt, who was an inspiration to Marchette in the field of Conceptual Art which represents the Big Idea (although they disagreed about how this idea was to play out). DovBer is of the opinion that an idea can evolve, grow with the project, adapt and never really end; Solomon was not.
Marchette and his work can rejuvenate our lives by teaching us to connect to our own creative processes, to look beyond the surface, to connect with true inner meaning. This is crucial in our world today, as we need to improve our lives and bring the world back to connecting with the depth of our true purpose.
Still at work today, Marchette can often be found in his studio in Brighton. He has exhibits planned in the coming months both in the USA and abroad. An exhibition will be held in East Hampton (MA) in June and July of 2023, as well as a show at the Goodnow Library in Sudbury (MA). Several exhibitions are being planned in the early summer of 2023 in Pisa, Italy. Later in the season there will be shows in Venice, Milan, and Florence. His representatives are also exploring the possibility of exhibitions in Rome.
A team of individuals is now working in the Netherlands to promote DovBer Marchette’s work, and a proposal has been submitted to show his art in the vicinity of the Van Gogh Museum. Exhibition opportunities are also being explored in other global locations including Spain, as well as in the United States. For more information, please visit: www.DovBerMarchette.com
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