Lisa Gordon has always been fascinated with horses. She spent a large part of her childhood not only drawing horses, but riding, working in stables, and training horses, and at the age of twelve she had her own. Those treasured memories and her deeply rooted love for horses are reflected in her bronze sculptures.
"As I continued my education, I began developing an understanding of my place in the art world. I constantly questioned myself, how do I relate to the vast history of equine art… awhile simultaneously keeping in mind what my very first sculpture instructor said, ‘There is no question you have talent, and that you can sculpt, but what you do with that talent becomes the real question.’”
In 1992, Lisa received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from California State University, Fullerton. During her education, she developed a passion for bronze casting. She then worked for numerous foundries throughout the Southwest, and began to experiment – pushing technical boundaries while exploring elements of motion, relationships to the landscape, and personal metaphors.
The connection between the casting process and her fondness for horses is clearly seen in her powerful, yet sensitive sculptures. For her, the relationship that she develops with a horse while grooming and bonding through touch mirrors the feeling of running her fingers over wax as it warms and molds into muscles and gestures that evolve into a horse’s form and in turn into a sculpture. "Experience has given me the opportunity to take each piece through the entire process, with the exception of metal pouring. I believe it is an essential part of my work."
Breathing new life into a historical subject, Gordon’s sculptures show horses balanced on spheres, walking through hoops, straddling pedestals, swaying on rockers, or bouncing on springs. These powerful creatures in whimsical scenes are a metaphor for the human experience, demonstrating the balance between having fun and giving life purpose. In her words, “Horses are powerful, but that’s not what they need in a situation of precarious balance. They’re massive, physical beings, but there’s frailty and delicacy there too—much like the human soul.”
Sculpture by Lisa Gordon has been featured in solo exhibitions and museum shows across the United States, including Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale in Denver, CO, Cowgirl Up at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ, Heart of the West at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, TX, Albuquerque Hall of Fame in Albuquerque, NM, and more.
Artists Statement: “The emotional bond between the horse and myself goes beyond simple childhood fascination. Horses have always been an intricate part of my life. I drew and mimicked them as a child; I owned and trained them as a teen; studied and revered them in college. Now as an artist it is natural that I sculpt the horse’s image. The horse is the figure through which I actualize my ideas. It becomes a tangible bridge between the viewer and me. My goal is to render the horse with empathy and respect without getting bogged down in realities. I strive to breath new life into an often cliché historical subject. By using tension and whimsy and by juxtaposing figure and form, my sculptures are carving out a space of their own into the world of equine sculpture.”