Douglas Holtquist is a self-taught sculptor and a Master in the Far Eastern art of Ikebana, Japanese flower composition. His art works are influenced by his overseas years living in Yotsuya-Sanchome, Tokyo and in Pietrasanta (Lucca), Italy, where he sculpted and lived a few doors down from La Dolce Vita.
While living in Tokyo, he was surprised to learn that the rank of a samurai warrior was determined in part by his ability to make a beautiful flower arrangement before battle. Intrigued by this philosphy of mixing beauty with power, he continues to practice this modern Ikebana style known for its focus on line, movement, and balance. This study has progressed to the realization of his own line of Ikebana vessels in steel, marble, bronze and ceramics. *images available upon inquiry
Creating vessels in Italy opened a door, broadening his horizons, to making figurative sculpture. This oh-my moment was a pivotal life point for Holtquist. What was intended as a brief, exploratory research trip ended up being a dream sequence of more than seven years of eye-opening experiences and developments.
Holtquist started down the path of other artists who have portrayed the human body in sculptural form for more than forty thousand years. And as he began teaching himself anatomy, he strove to incorporate all of the Ikebana principles that he had learned previously. Mastering the sculpting tools and different media during the Italian years was complimented with visits to museum sculpture collections and monumental cemeteries. Ancient Greek and Roman sculptural works were a great inspiration. The works of Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Canova and Thorvaldsen all have influenced the way he sees the human body.
His largest sculpture is ecclesiastical. The installation grouping for a small rural Midwest cemetery is a larger than life bronze of “St. John the Beloved” seated on “Dakota Bench”. It won Ministry & Liturgy’s Best of Show in the 2007 Visual Arts Awards Sacred Art Category and was featured on the cover of their monthly magazine.
Holtquist is represented in Europe by two galleries: Galerie Mooiman, Groningen, The Netherlands and Galleria II Melone, Rovigo, Italy. His sculptures are in the permanent collections at The Miniature Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands; The Leslie Lohman Museum, New York City, NY; The Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, IN; The Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; and in private collections worldwide.
His 2007 one-man show (“Il Passaggio – The Way Through”, Palazzo Correr, Venice, Italy) was a complete sellout. All nineteen bronze and marble sculptures were purchased; in addition, two larger, heavier works that could not be delivered via the Venetian canals to the gallery were also sold.
Claudio Giorgetti, Italian curator and art critic, said, “Holtquist combines a new and deeper reflection on the human status with the transient nature of our passions and vicissitudes. This has led him to a more intimate and introspective analysis where mystic dimension broadens to an understanding of the sacred…inviting us to pause, to reflect and to meditate on the fragility of our existence, a lucid evocation attempting a synthesis between opposites.”
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