I was born on March 16, 1955, in Wadsworth, Ohio, US.
I make sculpture and installation work, and sometimes paintings.
I have taught studio art classes at The Cleveland Institute of Art and also at Cuyahoga Community College. These days I'm working in my studio and showing work.
These pieces are from an installation of sculpture titled "The Carter Excavations" (Arts Collinwood, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, January, 2010). This body of work was inspired by the music of the original Carter Family - Maybelle, Alvin and Sara.
My main inspiration has always been rock and roll, Neil Young especially.
But my favorite piece of art ever is David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE.
And I love contemporary fiction - Don DeLillo, Annie Proulx, Dennis Cooper, and Miranda July come instantly to mind.
Currently I work at The Beachland Ballroom, the best rock and roll club in Cleveland, where I am inspired nightly by incredible live music.
I will be adding my resume here shortly, (I'm updating it). Please check back. In the meantime, here are three links to reviews and a link to a blog entry about a piece in "The Carter Excavations":
Kathy Ewing author of Missing: Coming to Terms with a Borderline Mother
kathyewing.com (click on blog if the post doesn't come up - this site was created for a book she is trying to get published).
And, following are some excerpts from older reviews. Thanks.
EXCERPTS FROM PRESS MATERIAL
Durst, thankfully, has given the final Dead Horse show some visual sizzle and a sense of light-heartedness. His installation, titled Splooge, consists of a series of colorful assemblages made from screwed-together scraps of plastic toys and household implements such as garden hoses and vacuum cleaners.
Each clump of objects is suspended from the gallery ceiling on lengths of black rubber tubing, which frees the artist from having to create structures that would have to stand on their own. Instead, they seem to float, like chunks of a postindustrial reef set adrift in space.
Steven Litt, Friday! Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 5, 2004, pgs. 41, 42
The FCC probably wouldnt be thrilled with Splooge, the provocative installation by Durst. The title piece in this assemblage of hung sculptures is a blue hose, protruding upward from a circular red-and-black object, surrounded by pieces of garden hose and various other tubular phallic shapes, each dangling at about eye level. Three rooms feature eight colorful creations hung from the ceiling, a collection of playful pieces that alternately hint at and ooze sexuality. Other works by Durst include a paint-by-numbers picture of a cat, framed in purple plastic and augmented with gold lame and a Barbie-doll leg, and a whimsical toy car that is steered with a red baseball bat. The Tri-C professor, best known for his carved-wood wall hangings, here has successfully reshaped found objects into fascinating curiosities.
Nadia Michel, The Cleveland Scene, March 3, 2004, pg. 25
Terry Durst, who adroitly combines common items to create sculptural objects and installations, has pushed his technique and aesthetic to new heights with a series of wonderfully vibrant hanging sculptures. The pieces in the series, titled Splooge, are so well assembled it is as if they were shipped to Durst in pieces, and came with instruction manuals. In Cancan, the melded collection of disparate objects part of a toy canoe, a floor tile with the outline of a human form on it, sections of PVC pipe lose their distinct forms and meanings, and are subsumed by the perfectly ordered composition. The sculptures are part machine, part tableau, and all visually satisfying. Because they hang from the ceiling, the Splooge pieces can be viewed from all angles, even from below. Few artists could have accomplished visual harmony at every angle, but Durst has managed the feat. He has labored as an artist for nearly 20 years, and has now perfected his process.
Lyz Bly, The Cleveland Free Times, March 3, 2004, pg. 44
Terry Durst, one of the first artists to colonize Tremont in the 1980s, is also one of the citys most prolific artists. His work sculpture and installation made of found and altered materials is closely connected with his neighborhood and his home, which overlooks the former LTV Steel plant.
Lyz Bly, The Cleveland Free Times, Oct. 8, 2003, pg. 56
Flushed and concerned with fluid in its own way is Terry Dursts floor installation of thirty cakes. Easily Beauty Marks most colorful and in-your-face (or at-your-feet) moment, Cake Night is a cake sleep-over; each rests on its own little pillow, surrounded by a nimbus of grease and frosting stain: paintings oozing gradually across the bright fabrics.
Douglas Max Utter, Angle Magazine, May Issue 03, 2003, pg. 7
Terry Durst, a sculptor and bad boy of this years warm and fuzzy show for spelling out super-cali-fag-alistic-sex-pia-li-do-cious in pink foam letters, says he started noticing galleries censoring his own work in the early 90s.
Laura Putre, The Cleveland Scene, Dec. 4, 2002, pg. 12
Durst uses rough and scarred found objects, recombining them in new, mostly formalistic relationships. Sculptural wall hangings, they hold power by the sum of their parts. There is a lovingness about these objects - castoffs that find new homes via Durst's shepherding. While Thurmer's work is art because he says so, Durst's is art because he makes it so.
Amy Sparks, The Cleveland Free Times, Jan. 16, 2002, pg. 19
Terry Durst's piece "The Parakeet Always Called Oscar In To Lunch" is another successful example. Durst's sculpture consists of a metal frame made of tubes covered in cracked and peeling plastic. A small, plastic blue and gray parakeet, perched over bauble-like flash bulbs, is framed by what looks to be the remains of a door screen. The work evokes not so much a single idea as a story. There's a sense of time to it as if we're looking at the pieces of a day, maybe even a whole lifetime. One gets the feeling that over time the flotsam of our lives slowly turns into art.
Richard Wagle, Dialogue, Jan./Feb. 2002, pg. 51
Shock value, according to CSU Gallery Director Robert Thurmer, is at its lowest ebb this year, as a tendency to self-censorship kicks into high gear. The penis count is down, sex per se is very rare. We may be seeing the long-term dampening effect of high profile sex-smear campaigns. Or maybe most folks are just tired.
But not everyone. Before you bring your homophobic, sex-starved right-to-life Republican uncle downtown, take note of Core Unit, an anonymous work by the group of artists who call their work REASONABILISM. This found-object installation features a rusty [International] Harvester refrigerator spouting steam from a hole in the top, plus two kitchen chairs strapped back to back with duct tape and clothesline. From the middle of the seat of each chair a large dildo juts upward, hooked to thick black electrical cable. Under the chairs lies a pile of broken vinyl records. But the moment of truth comes (pardon me) when you open the Harvester door. Hundreds of Internet homoerotic photos cover every inch, and on the middle rack, what else but a brain in a Mason jar? You were expecting maybe knockwurst?
At the opening night gala, Channel 8s cameras searched for appalled faces, but audience members took Core Unit easily in stride.
Douglas Max Utter, The Cleveland Free Times, Dec. 13, 2000, pg. 28
Terry Durst has been noted for found-object abstractions, composed of downtown textures in the rough-and-tumble mode. His work at Sandusky is therefore a big surprise, using brightly colored plastic objects in wall-hung compositions that explore the permutations of ultramodern, big molecule non-texture. These seven sculptures each explore a specific color tonality, covering a spectrum from clear, as in the Plexiglas double box Future Memory, to the black of Secret Space, with its chimney-like flanking tubes. An exercise stand, a washtub, a toy car are among the armatures for Dursts intriguing abstract recycling, as he reinvents the textures, shapes and colors of disposable (but eternal!) things.
Douglas Max Utter, The Cleveland Free Times, Nov. 29, 2000, pg. 26
Some of the narratives are humorous, too. For starters, take Terry Durst's "Representation," a title that does not prepare one for this floor installation composed of laser images of Bush and Gore surrounded by thousands of Froot Loops (yes, the breakfast cereal). Aside from poking fun at this exhibition's willingness to feature art that might not have the widest market (this one is defiantly unmarketable - how would you transport all those Froot Loops?), Durst reminds us that presidential candidates nowadays are marketed like detergent, cigarettes, or even breakfast cereal. Does this mean that Ralph Nader is the Wheaties candidate?
Charles Yannopoulos, The Cleveland Scene, Nov. 2, 2000, pg. 26
The only piece in the show making any reference at all to politics is Terry Dursts amusing and eye-popping floor piece, simply titled Representation. Made using 41 boxes of Froot Loops and 270 color laser prints, it reduces images of George W. Bush and Al Gore to the same level as multicolored breakfast cereal. Orderly game board-like rows of the candidates faces are surrounded by both real and photographically reproduced Froot Loops, which are spread over an 11 x 17-foot area. Dursts most minimal installation to date, it is as visually arresting as it is layered with possible interpretations.
Dan Tranberg, The Cleveland Free Times, Oct. 25, 2000, pg. 26
The found-object wall-hangings of Terry Durst and Roy Bigler remain as spicy and beautiful as ever. Dursts more raw assemblages strip away anything that might get in the way of the works emotionalism. Using events and memories from childhood, Durst boils them down into works compressed with explosive emotions. In The Parakeet Always Called Oscar In To Lunch, Durst uses pieces of cloth, a butter knife, a plastic parakeet, wood framing and light bulbs, all in hues of blue, revealing a highly intuitive linkage of found objects. Compared to his earlier work, Durst has pared down and gone spare and more monochromatic.
Amy Sparks, The Cleveland Free Times, Aug. 9, 2000, pg. 57
Terry Durst, one of Clevelands most interesting sculptors, continues to mine the vein he tapped last year. His works are formal, symmetrical, constructed primarily of weathered wood and dark in tone. Ashes to Ashes, which incorporates the collar of the artists late dog, Io, is especially moving. Durst breaks violently out of his recent formalist mode with How I (Learned My Lesson), a writhing, tumultuous, expressionist scream that suggests a possible new direction.
Frank Green, The Cleveland Free Times, Nov. 3, 1999, pg. 61
Dursts show, consisting of four new sculptural relief assemblages at the Southside Gallery, is as refined as a mathematical treatise and yet boldly expressive, like a primal scream. Though theyve been labored over carefully, the sculptures achieve an effect of raw immediacy, a rough expressiveness that belies their finesse. Each sculpture is crafted from cast-off pieces of wood that have been cut, drilled, gouged, filed and otherwise manipulated in the studio, together with found bits of metal, glass, plastic, wire and other materials assembled and over-painted with a dominant black, so that the finished work looks like it was carved from a single block of wood.
You can trace the influence of the rogues gallery of modern masters that the 44-year-old sculptor has assimilated - a diverse crew that includes Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg and Anselm Kiefer. I mention Pollock partly because if you look closely, peering through the semi-transparent haze of the dark outer layer, sections of Dursts pieces resemble the abstract expressionists paintings, with densely layered strokes and splotches of color. The star athlete of abstract expressionism is also evoked in the way that emotional intensity spreads out over the entire surface of Dursts work, creating an illusionary space that expands beyond the edges of the piece itself.
Through this expansive expressionism, he extends the visual language of Nevelsons relief sculptures. His new work is constructed from comparable materials (chair legs, fence posts, pegs, shards) that, like hers, have been painted black, and is similarly divided into compartmentalized sections, but Durst fires up Nevelsons cold formalism with a hot dose of emotional expression. From Rauschenberg, he inherits a tendency to incorporate odd fragments of material (a plastic buffalo, a bit of string), as well as an uncanny ability to marshal disparate elements into a unified whole. Kiefer lends a post-industrial aesthetic of decay, in which rust is the new gold, and oil, plastic, tar and battered wood are the new precious stones.
Despite such influences, Dursts combines are unlike anything thats come before and instantly recognizable. Hes developed a unique personal style based on an intelligent conversation with the avant garde tradition. After a couple years in which he made room-sized installations - the decorated cakes that he placed on the floor of the Southside Gallery last year are especially memorable - its good to see him return to making individual, self-contained sculptures. Though his films, performances and installations are never uninteresting, its always been sculpture at which he excels.
Frank Green, The Cleveland Free Times, March 24, 1999, pg. 53
Placed in the Centers window is Cleveland artist Terry Dursts found-object piece Ringo, its terrible
beauty both beckoning and repelling viewers at the exhibits opening two weeks ago (where it earned a jurors prize). Painted a monochromatic black, from a certain distance it has the look of an ancient carnival instrument that spits out reptilian music. But it must be looked at minutely, to examine the gears that turn
the wheels. From several feet away, one notices the smell, recognizable as the chemical smorgasbord cooked up by the smokestacks along I-490 and other toxic hubs. Melted record albums and bicycle tires, indistinguishable except for a few stray treads, have been worked in. Bits of Americana - a wooden shamrock, the eagle from a flagpole, a baseball and a cut-out of a heart - start to reveal themselves in the knarled piece of pitch black, a post-industrial lawn ornament. Referencing the title, along with the records, are the rings - metal halos, a Statue of Liberty nimbus with Van Goghs ear attached, and a representation of Ringo Starr himself (just try and find him). This work is for someone who is going to stay awhile: theres a built-in coat hanger and a lamp chain to pull. Its proportions - and the fact that its free-standing and references a specific person - is suggestive of the human figure, and that this is a sort of ashen version of it held together for an instant before falling into the dirt. References to death and the afterlife seem to have a connection with the mythical Hades, where people were condemned to existence, rather than the Christian hell, best known for its eventfulness.
Laura Putre, The Cleveland Free Times, June 24, 1998, pg. 39
The current exhibition, on view through November 30, features room-sized installations by two of Clevelands most interesting sculptors, Terry Durst and Jeesun Park.
Durst has developed a strong reputation over the past decade for his unique approach to mixed-media assemblage. Cheap materials like plaster, linoleum, old wood, and found objects are combined with such craftsmanship that old trash appears brand new. With a Durst exhibition, you never know what to expect,
yet when you see the work, it makes perfect sense within the continuum of his own unique development. An iconoclast on the order of Jeff Koons, only smarter, hes a conceptually rigorous artist who considers every detail of his large-scale works with the deliberation of a philosopher. He has the rare ability to
maintain a recognizable personal style without becoming redundant.
Dividing one floor of the gallery into five small spaces, hes created several rooms that relate to each other in odd ways that are almost, though not quite, narrative.
As the viewer enters the gallery, a series of flags strung along the ceiling hits one gently over the head, as if to divest you of any prior expectations of what sculpture can be. Inside, look for a transformed sofa in tribute to country songwriter George Jones, a dirty dish drain over a backlit counter of old linoleum, a wall of old album covers, each fronted by a single iconographic, color-
coordinated found object, and life-sized plaster casts of two men reaching out toward a wooden post as if toward the holy grail.
Frank Green, The Cleveland Free Times, Sept. 17, 1997, pg. 45
Sleeping through the current events of the media circus with eyes wide open, Durst and Pinsoneault have concocted a wakeful reverie, one that mixes visual and verbal punning with politics and memory. Beginning with a tongue-in-cheek Dedication to all sorts of people and institutions, Imposition continues up the stairs, astroturfed for the occasion, past a line of digital clocks on shelves that subtract minutes and move us into the ebb of dreamtime. Black and white-checked plastic pennants dangle above. As we reach the narrow landing we encounter a photo of the Menendez brothers behind a structure of bars, peering from a prison, literal, spiritual, temporal; we realize these dudes have been
preempted by other major, murderous jerks. Beneath them, shredded money curls like Easter basket grass.
Lots more pennants are strung diagonally across the gallery itself. Red, white and blue, they swing low, brushing our faces with limp, plastic menace. Theyre like a lot of things - like a July 4th filling station extravaganza, or like a flag seen through a kaleidoscope; they give the room a false ceiling of
quasi-patriotic zeal, a low cloud of soft, smooth teeth munching on American dreams. Near the door the exhibitors have built a ladder out of two by fours. You climb up this a couple rungs and look down on the whole shebang, affording an overview and a momentary escape - which is itself an imposition, notes Durst.
The floor of the gallery displays several ambiguous vignettes. A real gun rests domestically in a gun rack, a toy gun keeps it company. Red, white and blue rocks are scattered here and there, a standing circle of KKK Guyz perches on marble slabs. Then there are Preying Hands cut roughly out of sheet metal and wrapped with colored wire. Twelve panes of clear glass hang like empty frames on one wall, and a thirteenth, a black one that the real gun is aimed at, contains a cartridge; and lots more - but
the installation is resting fitfully during its run at CIArt. Things will change, so youll have to catch it in person if you want the full, latest-breaking effect.
Douglas Max Utter, The Cleveland Free Times, June 21, 1995, pg. 23
Dursts exhibition at Southside Gallery finds him working at assemblage on a smaller scale. Most of
the wall pieces have an architectural structure, as if buildings have been surgically sectioned and placed
on display. Though finely crafted, they look raw and expressionistic, composed of materials like old
boards and battered knick-knacks. Though brand new, theyre already weathered and decrepit, as if in
need of restoration. Verging on kitsch, they embody the commodification of the wilderness, rehearsing
the backyard openness of the folk artist and rural life, yet distinctly urban. This is a new kind of Americana - rustic because rusty, rather than freshly milled. Wood, the artist states, is metal.
The mostly silver St. of Kine stacks a layer of grazing dairy cows between smokestacks, electrical wires and underground pipes. Industrial production is a densely interconnected web of power exchanges overlaid on our formerly pastoral collective. Trophy tells a tale. A found photo of two old geezers whispering on the sidewalk crowns a strange edifice. Over a layer of dirt behind Plexiglas, figures move in dilapidated rooms. Trapeze artists raise their arms in glory, a bowling man punches a hole in the wall,
another dances in a cage under a blue rose, a third lies chained on his back to the buckling floor. Dirt is the seamy foundation here, capturing violence as entertaining spectacle. Trophy rips the facade off everyday terror, which repeats its odd dance on TV to become the street gossip of the global village.
Frank Green, The Cleveland Free Times, Nov. 23, 1994, pg. 33
Master of constructed assemblages, Cleveland artist Terry Dursts Square Dance! installation formally places you in a hoe-down sanctuary.
Beth Chico, Dialogue, March/April 1993, pg. 15
projects an uncanny ability to transform trash into arresting visual statementsDurst displays extraordinary cabinetry skills and a gift for putting machine parts and trim from old houses into artistic context.
Helen Cullinan, The Plain Dealer, Dec. 3, 1992, pg. 8-E
Gone is Dursts overwrought more must be better approach. These new works are more restrained, more judicious in the placement of their found objects. Durst is letting the objects and their juxtapositions speak for themselves, resulting in quieter, calmer works.
Amy Sparks, The Cleveland Free Times, Dec. 2, 1992, pg. 18
With an economy of means that may have surprised those familiar with his loaded, layered sculptures, Durst creates a melancholy be-bop of visual variationsa time-based static art in which the viewer can experience the installations repetitions and variations only by moving through the space into new fields of
Frank Green, Dialogue, July/Aug. 1991, pg. 10
Terry Durst constructs layered and weathered reliefs of wood fragments and found materials. His pieces exude echoes of other places and former lives, and massive strength in moderate scale.
Helen Cullinan, The Plain Dealer, Sept. 25, 1989, pg. 5-C
Most of the pieces are character-inspiredreflecting Dursts lively curiosity about human motivations. Others are imagistic,
including The Hell Bitch - a literal nightmare in red, white and blue.
Rebecca Freligh, The Plain Dealer, Sept. 24, 1989, pg. 2-H
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