Deborah Masters VG

Deborah Masters

Deborah Masters’ Spirits, whose heads measure up to five feet in height, are clothed in white, robelike garments, and wear talismans signifying their identities. Suspended from the ceiling by chains, they stare out at us impassively, silently dwelling in their own consciousness. The Little Spirits, both human and animal, have a quirky individuality and engaging liveliness. Their heads are in white porcelain and in clay glazed in many colors, and they wear sheath-like garments. They are drawn from people, dogs, and cows known by Masters through her life. In her drawings, the artist renders her figures, both real and archetypal, with a graphic energy and directness. We witness her confronting the observable and translating it into the hieratic presences that we see in her sculptural work. For the past three decades, Masters has been creating a series of Crosses, which are like diary entries that capture the inner concerns of the artist. The painted images range from Christian iconography, to reflections on tsunamis and the refugee crisis, to the landscape of Central Pennsylvania where the artist grew up. The Crosses, like all of Masters’ work, join the human and the spiritual, asking us to see them as one.