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The Sleeping Giants at 808 Gallery

Ledelle Moe creates portraits with concrete and steel


From a distance, the sculptures in the 808 Gallery appear to be oddly placed boulders. But step closer to the nine-foot-high concrete and steel works comprising Ledelle Moe’s exhibition Collapse, and the rocks turn into giant sleeping heads.

Moe is fascinated by the contradiction between appearance and reality. “I love paradoxes,” says the South African artist, who is a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. “For example, to me, concrete is a very earthy material, but it’s also a very industrial component. It appears crumbly and old, but the sculptures are very new — and they look solid, but they’re actually very fragile.”

The large heads are assembled differently each time Moe exhibits them; the challenge, she says, is not mixing up the pieces in the process.

Many of Moe’s sculptures weigh 2,500 to 3,000 pounds. “The large heads are separated into 200 smaller pieces to move them, and then we put them all together,” she says. “It’s like a giant, 3-D jigsaw puzzle.”

The CFA School of Visual Arts presents Ledelle Moe’s exhibition Collapse at the 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Ave., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through March 14. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the gallery Web site or call 617-358-0922.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.

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