Glass artist David Geiger takes flight at Gossamer Gallery

Ralph Stewart

For the most part, artist David Geiger’s sculptures are so provocative and varied they present themselves like an imagined free-form conversation with the artist — one minute moved by some whimsical thought, the next expressing a deeply felt passion.

And like a good conversation, his sculptures often contain some surprises, the inclusion of unexpected materials, multiple perspectives, or the complexity of his well-thought intention.

Primarily fashioned of bronze or glass, both Mr. Geiger’s representational and abstract pieces reflect his knowledge of horticulture and regard for nature. A graduate of Cornell University where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in plant sciences, the Chilmark resident then turned his attention to sculpture in independent study — a cerebral exercise combining science and art.

His work is displayed at Gossamer Gallery in Chilmark, where on Sunday, Aug. 7, a show of his latest pieces, Michael Wooley’s collages and illustrations, and the oil paintings of Magi Leland will open.

Gallery owner Joan Merry, a vocal admirer, says, “David has the busiest creative mind I’ve ever met. He does psychological pieces, makes beautiful silver jewelry with cast pieces, makes horseshoe crabs of glass that he calls, ‘New England Sacred Beasts.’

“He’s a scientist, and he’s fascinated by bits and pieces,” she adds. “He’s excited by all of it.”

Mr. Geiger’s latest artistic effort — a complicated, multi-stages project — are his two separate, five-foot glass sculptures of Icarus. According to Greek legend, Icarus was the son of Daedalus, who was imprisoned by King Minos of Crete. In an attempt to escape by flight, Daedalus made a pair of wings by using wax to adhere feathers to a frame. He warned Icarus not to fly too near the sun. But in flight, Icarus forgot his father’s warning, the feathers fell off as he neared the sun, and he fell to his death.

The two glass torsos created by Mr. Geiger have opaque white glass wings. In one, the wings are spread wide (three feet); in the other the “melting” wings are folded. The figures are fixed on a thin copper rod and grounded in Vineyard rock.

Many of Mr. Geiger’s projects involve multi-media and require repeated castings. His series, “Houses and Homes,” small glass sculptures of the same Cape Cod styled house, was made by first creating a wooden form of each house, and then making rubber molds that were converted to wax, then plaster molds for the end-product glass. Each house was then made subtly unique with embellishments.

Another series, “Alzheimer’s,” is visual representation of the progression of the disease; three hollow bronze and gold leaf spheres whose interiors progress from smooth and filled with representations of memory, to textured and almost empty.

Artists Michael Wooley, Magi Leland, and David Geiger will meet gallery goers at the opening reception Sunday, Aug. 7, from 5 to 7 pm. Gossamer Gallery, 24 South Road, Chilmark. 508-693-7978.