"Light creates movement in static structure. Tetrahedrons, like spiral crystals, are elemental geologic
(organic) forms. The granite mountain is an unfathomable mass of vibrating
molecules. Storm clouds are unimaginable energy in the form of tiny droplets
of water and dust. The infinitesimally small reflects the incomprehensibly
expansive." "In Bassler's search to objectify the mysterious, the oppositions
with which we started are not opposite after all. The mysterious resides with
the calculable, the surprising with the predictable, the ephemeral with the
stable. The only constant is change. The Sacred Hoop expands and energy spirals
to the spiritual center."
Sharon K. Emanuelli - concluding statement from the exhibition catalog essay: "Robert Bassler, Changing Light "ROBERT BASSLER - CHANGING LIGHT - A SURVEY, 1960 to 1996", DB Art Press, Aug., 1997
"Robert Bassler's tetrahedral sculptures
and painted wall relief at Wenger Gallery invoke an idealistic image of man
as explorer-stretching the limits of ideology and digging ever deeper the
furrows of science and art. Bassler is not a scientist, yet he approaches
his art with the restlessness of an experimentalist who seeks to understand
and explain the arrangement of nature's order and disorder, illustrating the
phenomena in a form that fuses art and science into a single, order whole."
"Bassler's elaboration on the tenet that fractal objects are "self-similar"
is most faithfully expressed in his welded steel piece, Infinite Fractal Pyramid.
Zero and infinity are the two poles in nature's fractal system. In this piece,
the tetrahedral apex establishes point zero; from there the same form proportionately
increases, repeating itself in an infinitely expandable universe....The central
clustering with outward multiplication not only effectively illustrates the
theory that the average density of matter decreases steadily as larger volumes
of space are considered, but also implies, in psychological terms, the variable
barriers of thought." "Albert Einstein once remarked, 'If we trace out what
we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science;
if we show it in forms whose interrelationships are not accessible to our
conscious thought but are intuitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing
art. Common to both is the devotion to something beyond the personal, removed
from the arbitrary.' Bassler follows just such a thought throughout his work."
Laurie Garris - excerpt from an exhibition review: "The Marriage of Art and Science", ARTWEEK, January 30, 1988
"Robert Bassler's sculptures
have always originated in the realm of intuition, from something inexplicable,
sometimes mundane, that grips the artist" a cliff wall or a highway barrier,
the tetrahedral pyramid, or photos of the earth taken from space." "Once this
impulse is set in motion, Bassler proceeds like a scientist, dissecting, reorganizing,
stripping bare every possible conceptual and formal angle and exploring every
possible permutation the subject has to offer. He begins, like a spiritualist,
from what he calls "some metaphysical pull", then undertakes an exacting,
comprehensive analysis that whittles away at an object's surface and our
preconceptions to disclose some basic internal structure." "...for every impulse
toward cohesion, the mental and cosmic landscape offers an opposite and equal
impulse toward unfathomable expansion."
Marlena Donohue - excerpts from an exhibition review "Robert Bassler, Wenger Gallery, Los Angeles" SCULPTURE Magazine, March/April 1988, Vol. 7, No. 2
"Bassler's analytical approach
and use of technology are not an end but means for the expression of subjective
experience. Were it not for this stance, his work would be reduced to formalist
study of structure. He does not give us information but seeks to share insight.
In daring to expose his work as process and to pronounce conspicuously the
artist's relationship to his media, he reaffirms the viability of craft-oriented
expression, a mode not popular today except in video and performance art.
He allows that art, even in its traditional forms, is an exploration, not
a finished product."
Kathleen Bonner - excerpt from the article: "Explorations of Ephemerality" ARTWEEK, February 21, 1981
"Mr. Bassler became increasingly
interested in the phenomenon of light while working on a series of polyester
resin sculptures. Because of it's nature, resin, when highly polished, has
the ability to transmit light in such a way as to project prismatic colors
(though itself transparent) onto nearby surfaces when it is in the presence
of a light source. These projections change depending on the shape of the
sculpture and on whether the light source is direct, reflected, natural or
artificial. Mr. Bassler also notes that the images created within his resin
sculptures by the passage of light through them often bring to mind astronomical
phenomena such as the aurora borealis and supernovae."
Iris B. Reis, excerpt from the article: "Approaching the Universe Through Art", MERCURY Magazine, The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Dec. 1974
"The degree to which technological
change is accepted in American society is reflected in the themes and media
with which its contemporary artists are involved. As never before, conceptual
changes in the plastic arts are occurring with such rapidity and extraordinary
diversity that one might conclude that either art is everything or everything
is art." "In this atmosphere of constantly changing values, there is a reevaluation
of the philosophical validity of material things. Many utilitarian and art
objects are becoming dispensable and losing their past roles as treasured
bits of luxury. On the other hand, on cannot deny that material advances have
brought freedom to the mind by improving man's physical health and well-being."
"Contemporary artists have responded to this situation in a variety of ways.
Some have returned to realism or strict representation of familiar figurative
subjects; others incorporate everyday utilitarian objects or use materials
not previously identified with art." "Parallel with this enormous diversification
of media and subject matter in the plastic arts, on finds that aestheticians,
art historians and art critics have been expanding their definition and conceptions
of art. This is complicated by artists who exhibit little, if anything, of
tangible substance. For example, some current exhibitions may consist of apparently
empty spaces containing invisible phenomena such as electromagnetic waves
or pressure pulsations. Others might make use of unusual aspects of light
or space defined by sounds."
Robert C. Bassler, excerpted from the article: "Lenticular Polyester Resin Sculpture: Transparency and Light - Current Trends in the Plastic Arts", LEONARDO, International Journal of the Contemporary Artist, Vol. 5, No. 3, Summer, 1972