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Artist Debbie Korbel always knows how to create delightful, awe-inspiring assemblage sculptures from the most humble scrap parts and beginnings. By infusing them with her original sculptural elements and painting, she makes a remarkable whole – hence the title of the exhibition at MOAH: CEDAR (Lancaster Museum of Art & History).

Artist | Debbie Korbel

Exhibition | The Sum of Its Parts

Venue | MOAH: CEDAR (Lancaster Museum of Art & History)

October 3 – December 6, 2020

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts; that the finished sculpture has more value and meaning that the many disparate components that comprise it — this is what Debbie Korbel hopes to achieve when she sets out to create her assemblage sculptures.

Everyone knows what it is like to lie on their back and ‘see’ images in the clouds. When Korbel was a child, she assumed everyone saw these kinds of images everywhere like she did — figures, animals and surreal creatures in the patterns on the linoleum flooring, the random swirls in a plaster ceiling, or even the way shadows fell against a wall. As an adult Korbel approaches her sculpture materials in the same way, by standing back and looking for what she ‘sees’ to emerge. “Being an assemblage sculptor is a little like taking a daily Rorschach test,” says Korbel.

Korbel creates her sculptures by combining her original sculpted elements with an assortment of objects she has collected. Often the initial impetus for the sculpture occurs when she finds an interesting fragment of metal or wood and then the idea takes root and evolves from that single catalyst piece. Every sculpture is like a puzzle for which Korbel finds and fits each seemingly unrelated piece together in its more expressive form to create something new.

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