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"Progressions" brings sculptor's artistic process to life

Robert Winkler's early works of art were drawings he did on butcher paper in his grandmother's home.  He remembers being fascinated by form very early on, tweaking his drawings ever so slightly to see them evolve.

Now an exhibit of his sculpture - in model size and larger, finished pieces - is on display at Queens University of Charlotte. "Progressions" gives visitors the opportunity to explore how a sculptor's ideas take form in maquettes, or models, and move to full-size execution before leading to the next idea.

"I love to create a form and then change it very slightly in structure so that it becomes something new," he said, showing how the "negative space" in one wood sculpture's spine-like form is mirrored in another work, but with a literal twist as the space between pieces increases at a wider angle.

Winkler has recently worked with rice paper and aluminum, wood and steel. "The material doesn't lead the piece, though, the forms do," he said.

Winkler's work is defined by his ability to manipulate volume, mass and blance to create a sense of movement. He achieves serpentine, animated forms without a single curved cut, finding infinite variation within a limited number of shapes.

Winkler, an Ohio native, now lives in Asheville, N.C., and his work is exhibited across the country.

His work will be on display outdoors on the Queens campus and in the Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins Building through Saturday, Oct. 1. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

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