Reviews

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Man and Machine, Art & Antiques Magazine, Review by John Dorfman, page 29, September, Issue, 2017

Ghosts in the Machine, Art & Antiques Magazine, Michael Dunbar Sculpture, Continuum Exhibition at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, Review by John Dorfman, pages 26-27 September, Issue, 2016

Michael Dunbar at the David Owsley Museum of Art, December 2016

Monticello Sculpture Gardens, at Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, Illinois, page 102, ARTnews, December Issue, Review by Ivy Cooper, 2013

ARTnews Summer Issue 2013, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan

Through September 1

Known for his monumental outdoor works at public sites across the Midwest, Illinois-based sculptor Michael Dunbar (b. 1947) exalts the graceful, clean muscularity of Machine Age esthetics, and his work demonstrates a midcentury modernist’s enthusiasm for science and technology. Entitled “Explorations in Space,” this exhilarating exhibition presents six large-scale bronze sculptures made since 2006 that reference time, outer space, and navigation—installed around the museum’s grounds and in an open-air courtyard. Dunbar’s early sculptures were often figurative, and the mature abstract works on view here occasionally conjure semiorganic forms. Fallen Warrior (2006), for instance, looks like a deconstructed Star Wars robot, lying prone after battle, while Telecaster (2010) could be read alternately as a radar antenna or part of an animal carcass. Dunbar pays close attention to finish and detail, including stylishly prominent bolts and joints in all of his work to assert and lay bare the artistry of mechanics. Though obviously weighty and presumably static, Dunbar’s sculptures seem as if they might spring into action at any moment. Trinity (2012), with its clock-like gears, suggests an analog satellite, and Cassiopeia (2008), oriented low to the ground, recalls an abstracted Mars Rover rolling across uncertain astronautical terrain. Standing at over 11 feet tall, Orbits of Isaac (2011) is the largest and most complex work in the show. All of the artist's space-age sensibility comes into play in its shiny refined surfaces, interlocking arcs and angles, and allusion to Sir Isaac Newton—a powerful manifestation of his belief in the promise and progress of technology. —Stephanie Rieke Miller

North Point by Michael Dunbar, Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation, November 12, 2003