Paul Maxwell's fascination (as early as 1950) with "found object art"
set the stage for much of what he is doing today.
During a stint on the teaching staff of the Putney School (1951 - 1953),
Maxwell frequently walked through the Vermont countryside where he
found many sizable chards of slate. He enhanced their innate design by
staining, scoring, drilling and breaking the slate along natural lines of
By 1962 Maxwell was devoting equal energies to painting, sculpture and
printmaking. He produced sculpture using a variety of techniques --
lost wax casting and sandcasting in bronze and aluminum, welded steel
and bronze, wood construction, and concrete.
Maxwell's interest in "layering", which began with his use of the
cleavage in early slate pieces, continues, and is most apparent in the "lattice"
and "vesiculated" works. In both, a volume or three-dimensional space
is defined but not confined. The perception is that of diminished density,
which Maxwell sees as corresponding to dematerialization of thought
and mentalization of matter: necessary concomitants to spiritualization