In creating marquetry sculpture, William Tunberg calls upon his lifelong love of assemblage and classical drawing. Tunberg’s materials are exotic natural and dyed veneers that he fragments, assembles, and reassembles, then laminates over complex sculptural forms of his own devising. Tunberg considers the resulting imagery as personal narratives expressed in his own language and mode of communication.
Tunberg pioneered the use of marquetry in abstract expressionism and fine art sculpture. In doing so, Tunberg created a powerful new art form.
Historically, during the time of Louis XIV, marquetry was the most highly prized of all arts. Marquetry was used as a decorative appliqué to furniture and functional objects. In the early 19th century, marquetry was put aside as a very expensive mode of ornamentation.
Except for its logistical complexities, Tunberg’s use of this classical technique has little in common with traditional marquetry, as traditional marquetry uses floral designs and natural scenes as decorative motifs. Bypassing traditional applications, Tunberg concentrates on fragmenting imagery and arranging the imagery into surreal combinations and juxtapositions to create a dialog of irrational reality.
Though the process demands precision and focus, and is fraught with difficulty and frustration, the results are worth all the effort. Marquetry is unrivaled for sheer beauty and visual drama.
January 4, 2018