Tor Archer

I work primarily from the solitary, standing female form as a representation of the life giving, nurturing and creative force of Nature and the archetypal association of the female body with the earth.  I think of these figures as akin to religious iconography and objects of veneration.  In the creation of the work I take inspiration from the direct observation of the natural world, both microcosmic and macrocosmic.

Many of these observations are from the botanical world.  The structure of twigs and branches, of roots, the veins of a leaf, looking up through the canopy of a tree, the way vines intertwine or the way plant matter is woven into a bird’s nest.  It is these elemental forms that I aim to translate into figurative form.  I work with copper for its malleability and history as an archaic metal known for its conductivity on an energetic level.”

The wall pieces reflect an ongoing interest in old manuscripts, indecipherable texts, scrolls, books, mythologies, religious imagery and worn, salvaged materials.  These are usually based on a figurative image or images, presented in either an iconic format or within a suggested narrative, each intended to suggest contained meaning.  Many have an invented language to hint at the possibility of deciphering the meaning within, which ultimately remains hidden, leaving the desire for meaning and all that it would bestow upon the viewer as the intended message.

Image featured on this page: Tor Archer “A Woven Nest,” 2018, 74″ x 17″ x 22″, Fabricated Copper, Patina on Marble Base

Tor Archer "Mythological Tapestry"

Tor Archer “Mythological Tapestry,” 2018, 11”x59”, Book Jackets, Copper. Steel, Bone, Wood, Gold Leaf, Silver Leaf, Paint

Tor Archer "An Effigy of Leaves V"

Tor Archer “An Effigy of Leaves V,” 2014 69”x16”x20”, Fabricated Copper, Patina on Limestone Base

Tor Archer "A Figurative Thicket"

Tor Archer “A Figurative Thicket,” 2019, 34”x9”x9”, Fabricated Copper, Patina on Marble Base

Tor Archer "Tree of Life, Days and Nights"

Tor Archer “Tree of Life, Days and Nights,” 2018, 11”x22”, Book Jackets, Copper, Bone, Wood, Gold Leaf


Resume

Education:

1985-87      Boston University, Boston, MA

1980-83      B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

1977-79      Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

 

Solo Exhibitions:

2017     “Natural Figuration”, Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

2014     “Lines and Forms”, Julie Nester Gallery, Park City Utah, upcoming

2013    “Out of Nature”, Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

2012    “Mythological Reclamation”,  Delgado Street Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

2011    “Nature’s Effigies”, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

2010    “Figurative Perspectives”, Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UT

2008    “Figurative Archetypes,” Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UT

2008     Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA

2006     Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2005     Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UT

2002     Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2001    “Relief Sculpture: 1989 – Present,” St. Gregory of Nyssa Church, San Francisco, CA

1998     SOMA Gallery, La Jolla, CA

1997     Kurt Lidtke Gallery, Seattle, WA

1996     Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1994     Contemporary Realist Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1991    “Introductions 1991,” Contemporary Realist Gallery, San Francisco, CA

 

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2018     “Art of the Book”, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

2017     “Bulgari, SerpentiForm”, Art Science Museum, Singapore, Mori Art Center, Tokyo, Japan

2014     “Numinosity”, two person show, Liberty Arts, Yreka, CA

2013     “Origins: Elemental Forms in Contemporary Sculpture ”, The Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2012    “Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought”, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

“Marin Masters”, The Outdoor Art Club, Mill Valley, CA

“Collector’s Choice”, Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA

“No Library Card Required”, Center for Book Arts and Printmaking, Santa Fe, NM

“Art of the Book”,  Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

2010   “Magna Carta: Art/Paper”, Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“The Art of the Book”. Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA

2009  “The Altered Book:  Artists Re-imagine the Book”, Reed Whipple Cultural Center

Gallery, Las Vegas, Nevada

“Old Stories, New Images”, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

“The Art of the Book”, Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA

“Codex International Book Fair”, University of California,  Berkeley, CA

2007   “Re-Covery”, The Brighton Press, San Diego, CA

2006     “The Figure”, Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, Utah

2005     “Hernandades  Escultoricas”, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico

“Summer Reading”, Steel Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Spice Boxes”,  The Jewish Contemporary Museum, San Francisco, CA

2004    New Work Gallery Artists, Scott White Contemporary Art, Telluride, CO

“Contemporary Perspectives” Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA

“Hearts In San Francisco”  SF General Hospital Fundraiser, San Francisco, CA

“Arcadia” SOMAR Gallery, Fundraiser, San Francisco, CA

2000    “Hackett-Freedman Gallery Artists,” Shasta College Gallery, Redding, CA

“Current Works”  SOMA Gallery, La Jolla, CA

1999    “Fin de Siecle,” Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998    “Select Works:  Emerging and  Established Artists,” Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco,

“Sculpture Walk,” Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA

1997   “10th Anniversary Exhibition,” Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Pacific Rim Sculptors,” Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, CA

1996     Art Fair Miami ’96, Miami Beach, FL

1996    “Sculpture Walk,” Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA

“Previews,” Kurt Lidtke Gallery, Seattle, WA

1995    “The Gold Show,” Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto, CA

1993    Crocker-Kingsley Annual Expo, Crocker Museum, Sacramento, CA, award

1993    “Ancestors,” College of Marin Gallery, Kentfield, CA

1992     Contemporary Realist Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Elena Baskin Art Center, U.C. Santa Cruz, CA

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, U.C. Santa Cruz, CA

1989     Group Show, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Small Works of Hunter’s Point Artists,” The Art Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1989     “East Meets West: San Francisco and New York Sculptors,” The Space, San Francisco, CA

“Three Dimensional Reality,” juried show, San Jose Art League Downtown Gallery, CA

“AIDS Day of Remembrance/Images of St. Sebastian,” Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

1987     S.F.A. Gallery, Boston University, Boston, MA

1986     S.F.A. Gallery, Boston University, Boston, MA

 

Bibliography:

2009    Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 27  “The Looks of Books”

2008    Artworks Magazine, Spring 2008, “Tor Archer Inner Life”, p 51-6

2005     La Mira, Merida, Mexico   “Encuentro Escultorico Binacional”

2005     Diario de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico   “Los Huespedes Primero”

2004     San Francisco Chronicle, Datebook 8/29/04  Heart monitor  p21

2003       Artweek,  News p.3  New Monumental Sculpture for Walnut Creek

2002       Gallery Guide West Coast Edition, p. 37, photo

2002     San Francisco Examiner 4/3/02 Art Speak Anne Crump p.C2

1996     Datebook image, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Sep. 25

1995     Mayfield, Signe, The Gold Show, Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto, CA (catalog)

1994     Sherman, Ann Elliott, “3-D Explorations,” Metro, August 11-17

1989     Brunson, Jamie, “Materiality to Deflect Deconstruction,” Artweek September 9, p. 9

Hurley, Anne, “Group Vision,” The San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 30, p. 29

Mykleson, P., “Sebastian – Gay Cult Hero,” San Francisco Sentinel  November 2, p. 19

 

Awards:

2009    People’s Choice Award, “Old Stories, New Images”. The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

2003     Public Art Award, City of Walnut Creek, CA

2003     SECA Award Nominee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

2001     SECA Award Nominee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

1999     SECA Award Nominee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

1994     Award of Merit,  California State Fair, Sacramento, CA

Media

, ,

Location

Building 117, Studio 3117

Phone

415-822-2826

Email Artist

Artist Site