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Ron Kent

Ron Kent is an internationally recognized wood artist and one who has constantly challenged preconceptions by exploring new mediums and approaches. While he is known to many as a master craftsman in the realm of wood art, with work in leading museums from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to The Louvre, he never accepted that he should be limited to any particular medium, process or form.

Kent came to woodturning in 1975 and for the first year created bottle forms on the lathe. He later explored the ovid form and then the bowl form which created the artist’s reputation. He concentrated on creating bowls in Norfolk Island pine, a wood that offers striking knot patterns and highly figured wood that spalts in beautiful abstract patterns. He also brought something new to the pedestal: light. His bowls, thinly turned and oiled, glow under gallery lighting and were unlike what anyone else was doing at the time.

Kent has explored a number of other forms and materials and can be considered as leaning toward a minimalist aesthetic. He made forays into sculpture, working with metal and laminated wood and explored the sphere and the equilateral tetrahedron (three-sided pyramid) forms.

My mission is to create and select the silhouette that best interacts with the natural characteristic of each log, highlighting the intrinsic beauties that nature has provided, seeking a harmonious blend.

Kent’s greatest breakthrough came when four of his pieces were included in the historic Edward Jacobsen Collection of Turned Wood Bowls that toured the United States and were presented in the first book to document the viability of turned wood bowls as collectable. Inclusion in important exhibitions and books followed, including The White House Collection of American Crafts (1993) and Expressions in Wood: Masterworks from the Wornick Collection (1996.

His work is now included in the permanent collections of The Louvre, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Art & Design (New York), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Yale University Art Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and others.

His work has been presented to US Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush, Emperor Akihito of Japan, and many other luminaries.

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