Charlie Lucas (American, born 1951), Untitled, 1992–1996, from the series, New Breed, found objects, iron, and steel, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1996.16.1-.4, 1999.21, 2000.14.1-.2; Gift of friends of the artist and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1997.14; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase made possible by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, 1998.10.1-.2
Charlie Lucas owns four acres of land in rural Autauga County, where he builds sculptures by recycling rusted metal refuse rescued from junkyards, scrap piles, and byways. He is sometimes classified as an “outsider” artist because of his lack of formal art training, but he is profoundly in touch with the spirit of art: the joy of creativity and the impact of art in people’s lives.
Like many artists, he began to learn his skills for creating art as a child. His great-grandfather was a blacksmith; his father, an auto mechanic, and his grandmother, a quilter. His sculpture originates with the scrap metal that he finds, piecing and welding it until it expresses a distinctive figure—animal or human—from his imagination.
In 1992, Lucas began working on The New Breed, a series of quadruped figures that resemble deer, horses, or dinosaurs. He sees these creatures as composite animals, their beautiful curves suggesting air and water, as well as creatures tied to the earth.
Right: Charlie Lucas, ca. 1996 with Untitled, 1992–1996, 1996.16.1
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Support for this installation was provided in part by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.