Barbara Sorensen is known for monumental sculptural installations that draw on geological formations and classical elements, but recently turned her energies to large-scale environmental vessels constructed of metals and resins, as well as new, experimental mixed-media prints and two-dimensional works. Often interconnected and chromatically bold, the new series emerge from and focus on her sense of the relationships between human and landscape.
She discovered clay, an ideal medium for her interest in textural plasticity, as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. After completing her degree there, Sorensen went on to work with mentors Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, Don Reitz, Rudy Autio and others who were pushing the medium in fresh, sculptural directions. Today, in her Snowmass Village, CO., and Winter Park, FL., studios, she continues to evolve and expand her concerns in the series of works that explore her enduring interests: the natural environment and conceptual notions of the vessel. "Sorensen's ultimate subject is growth and change. Characteristics of both the physical world that surrounds us and the interior landscape we carry inside, movement and energy are the essence of life. Sorensen's works breathe with this truth and in turn, convey it to us." Eleanor Heartney, Art Critic, Art in America
Sorensen’s solo exhibition, Topographies, at the Orlando Museum of Art, finishes a two year tour which began at the Museum of Florida Art and traveled to the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. It features a survey of the last 20 years of her work, with a concentration on the resin and metal installations. It also includes Sorensen’s collaboration with composer Stella Sung and videographer David Hiser to create a site-specific sound/video/sculptural installation that relates to her work and the environment. A second collaboration is with the Orlando Ballet Company in a performance "Art and Dance: A Pas de Deux" featuring the Orlando Ballet dancers choreographed by Eric Yow. A comprehensive catalogue with essays by Eleanor Heartney and Barbara Bloemink will accompany the exhibition.
Sorensen’s work is in numerous museum, corporate and private collections. Among them are the Everson Museum of Art, Cornell Museum of Fine Art, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Flint Institute of Arts, Newark Museum, Racine Art Museum, Florida State Capitol Art Collection, Town of Snowmass Village, City of Orlando, City of Winter Park, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, SunTrust Bank, Darden Restaurant Corporation, Neiman Marcus Corporation, The United Company, The White House Collection, Washington, D.C., Stetson University and the University of Central Florida.
Sorensen’s recent one-person shows have been at Kouros Gallery (New York), 212 Gallery (Aspen), Elaine Baker Gallery (Boca Raton), Millenia Gallery (Orlando), Museum of Florida Art (DeLand) and Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art (St. Petersburg); her work has been showcased at the Aspen Art Museum, Mennello Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, and the Time Warner Building (New York).
Sorensen’s work has been published widely, in periodicals and texts, from the 2010 monograph, Barbara Sorensen: Topographies, to Picturing Florida: From the First Coast to the Space Coast (2008), Finding Balance (2006, with curator James Surls), Janet Mansfield’s 2005 Ceramics in the Environment, The Craft and Art of Clay, 3rd Ed., 1999, (cover image) by Susan Peterson, and Architectural Ceramics 1999, (over image) by Peter King.