June Kelly Gallery


Rebecca Welz

Group of Houses / Fire House, 25 1.50" x 20 1.50" x 12" /
Big House, 48" x 46 1.50" x 22 1.50"/
Sea Glass House, 18 1/2" x 15 1.25" x 10.25"/ 2021,
welded steel, blackening, powder coat and paint

Displacement: Sculpture, an environment of welded steel structures by Rebecca Welz — intriguing explorations that hang from the ceiling, free-stand, and sit on the floor, will open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, on November 19.  The exhibition will remain on view through January 4, 2022.

Characteristic of Welz’s style, this new work challenges limitations of the material.  The dichotomy between material and subject visualization pique curiosity with viewers’ perceptions. “As I make sculpture with my torches and tools,” says Welz, “I look to find the poetry and rhythms that give glimpses into the world of nature but also beyond, into the concrete and also the spiritual.”

Welz’s childhood as well as the current global unease attributed discernment to the notion of this body of work.  “My father was in the US Airforce, and we moved a lot when I was growing up; nineteen times in all.  The houses changed but the objects inside stayed the same and were placed in different configurations.  Observing the impact of pulling up roots and resettling so many times led me to consider, unlike my family, those who are forced to move.

The “Displacement” series is a tribute to the millions of people who have been displaced from their homes due to political unrest, tyranny, genocide, economic hardship, famine, and lack of resources in their native countries.  Many people are forced to leave their homes as a last resort for survival without knowing if and when they will ever have the security of a home.  The steel houses symbolize the sanctuary of four walls and the security of a roof overhead.  They represent different lives, places and times in the quest for safety and a sense of belonging.”

Welz once spoke of her sculptures as line drawings in three dimensions that describe and define space.  In Fire House, 2021 and Sea House, 2021 lines have “the character of large see-through drawings…lines of varying thicknesses of welded steel, blackened and bent, contorted and changed by time with unknown histories.”

Then there’s Welz’s sculptural language of gestural lines shaped to the slenderest proportions reflecting mesmerizing nuances of material and imagination.  Welz represents her pieces in convincing illusion of real space.  Her intriguingly innovative approach of taking hard material --rods of steel--twisting, bending, and welding, highlights fragility of natural forms and steers sense of emotion interpreted by the viewer.  The lyrical free-standing, Mangrove Dance, 2021 and 8 ft. tall Vines, 2021 attest to Welz’s wittiness.

Welz describes her interlocking structures as complex groupings of loops, small tangled with large, and thick with thin, that, at first, appear chaotic.  But she notes, there is order in the repetitious geometry within the groupings.

Welz says her pieces are about time, about the mutability of history and about the variability of systems that we live within.  They are also about the freedom of space within the lines of structure. I work to transform round steel rod, hard and machine rolled, into something that is soft and fluid and looks like it is moving and still growing.

Rebecca Welz, a native of Sausalito, California, lives and works in New York City.  She received a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College of the City University of New York, and also studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art. Welz’s work has been shown in numerous one-person and group exhibitions.  She is represented in corporate and private collections, including Goldman Sachs; Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton; Credit Lyonnais, Prudential Life Insurance Corporation, AXA Corporation, Pfizer Incorporated, and Warburg Pincus, all of New York.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

7 Houses - 2021

Mangrove Dance - 2021

6 Houses - 2021

6 Houses - 2021

Rebecca Welz Bio

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