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  #51  
Old 05-29-2004, 03:09 PM
daniel baharier daniel baharier is offline
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Question Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

I am a figurative sculptor in Israel.I or we are considered not artists especially after the large influx of russian arists who for want of a better word are in the academic tradition.My work by critics and curators is considered less than people who work in life casts and the galleries dont want my work because its not cmmercial enough.Nine years ago I did the then largest commission in Israel twenty four figures from two and a half to three and a half meters high no critic no reports etc.I have just completed the second of seventeen outdoor sculptures for the Wingate Institute an internationaly renown sports institute no interest from the press plus my peers at the organisation for proffessional artists turned down my application for membership on the grounds of not enough art education[5 years no degree] or exhibitons[first exhibition 1979] I have taught since 1985 at different colleges and privatley.Some of my students are members. Who said we are an elite?
  #52  
Old 05-29-2004, 04:37 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Hi Daniel........welcome

I'm posting a link to your one work that I found on-line..(we speak in images here) 1


Would you care to tell us about it

and
post more

as/re critics .
..Don't feel too put out.....Frederick Hart,one of the U.S.leading figurative artists of the last century, bitterly complained that he got no critical mentions for his openings nor public monuments.

as/re : " Who said we are an elite?"
I had thought that that was a given-----a glaring example of how being an elite doesn't necessarily translate into fame nor fortune.

...accept criticism from those whose arogance is supported by their work.....

at least-"....second of seventeen..." --you have work---

I look forward to seing more of yours

rod(sculptor)
  #53  
Old 05-29-2004, 10:39 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Daniel - Thanks for giving us another report on this subject, and Rod, thanks for the image. I did a Google search and didn't even find that one. Daniel, can you provide more links? I’d like to see more also. As Rod said, the reward of good work isn’t necessarily fame and fortune in one’s own time. It may be simply the satisfaction of knowing you have done well.
  #54  
Old 05-30-2004, 12:14 AM
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Re: press

It was mentioned a couple of times that figurative sculptors didn't get press (serious/informed/any) on public works or show openings.

I may be wrong on this, in general, but I don't see much non-representational work getting press (serious/informed/any) either. If anything a public work with a figure will find its way into the 'Lifestyles' section of the paper, with someone in shorts eating an ice cream and sitting on it to give a sense of scale most often.

God knows I love to complain but I don't see any one approach to art running away with all the attention. {With one exception - any work that can create a controversy will be picked up in all the popular press with the inevitable angle on what a waste of taxpayer dollars it all is}. The 'ART Press' seems to have settled into distinct bubbles (with some overlapping venues). If you want leaping rodeo bronzes or rose petal/razorblade installations you simply purchase the appropriate magazine (chocolate or vanilla take your pick).

-pet peeve-
Where I'm from images of public art in the media are almost never accompanied with an acknowledgement of the artist responsible, figurative or otherwise. - then again, architects don't get free press when a building is shown either so maybe I'm just being precious here.
  #55  
Old 05-30-2004, 09:39 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; press

ALH - I may be the person who started this "no media exposure for figurative artists” topic, so let me say a bit more here. I mainly was describing the situation in New Orleans, where the one daily paper has a Friday art column that routinely devotes about 1 ½ to 2 pages (in magazine format) to art reviews, with pictures, and where a free weekly devotes about 1 - 1 ½ pages to the same subject. The former almost never gives attention to figurative sculpture, but raves about anything abstract or trendy. The latter is much more balanced, but also is heavy on abstract, plus “out-of-the-ordinary” work or galleries.

It’s been informative (Isn’t that why we use this forum?) to see other comments on this subject. We’ve had descriptions now about the situation in Russia and Israel, and from many across the U. S. Russ has said that in Missouri he gets little press with his abstract pieces.

All in all, I’ve settled into the routine that most artists probably do - work as you will and let the world catch on later, if it will.

Last edited by fritchie : 05-30-2004 at 09:42 PM.
  #56  
Old 05-31-2004, 11:21 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; press

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
.... All in all, I’ve settled into the routine that most artists probably do - work as you will and let the world catch on later, if it will.
Amen, Fritchie. But we can also try to change the situation. Ever since you brought this up I have noticed that figurative works of public art usually don't have any indication of the artist's name and often the only text on the base or accompanying plaque commemorates the donors, city officials, or whatever. However, in a sculpture park or exhibit, new figurative work does get credit for the sculptor. For example, tonight I posted ten images from Grounds for Sculpture in the web Gallery and the figurative ones are identified. However, there was an exhibit also at Grounds for Sculpture of photographs of sculptures in a Polish cemetary and those bore the names of the photographer and the deceased person the sculpture honored, but not the artist. Perhaps this is because they were done at a time when this was normal, and becasue the sculptures had a function? It still isn't fair, though. And I find it very surprising.
  #57  
Old 06-01-2004, 12:30 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

I find this whole argument strange and, frankly, it's getting tiresome. Up until half way through the 20th Century, virtually all sculpture was "figurative", except for some Symbols and decoration. And sculptors, as well as painters, etc., had to fight like hell to legitimize any other kind of Art. This anti-figurative prejudice you guys feel, if it exists, is quite recent, and not all that widespread. In most of the U.S. it is still the case that the majority of the "public" considers abstract or non-representational work to be just more or less the product of ego trips by self-styled artists who can't render the figure. In fact, some of that opinion seems to be very shallowly veiled among some of you figure freaks. I do figurative as well as figurative-abstract, and abstract work, and some which I cannot even classify in words myself. My own mother, at 90, walked into my studio and said, "...and what's this junk?" My brother gets all embarrassed about how he "just doesn't understand abstraction". Don't try to understand it, I tell him. Just look at it. It's Visual Art, not some puzzle. It's quite ok that different people are receptive to different kinds of sculpture. Damned if I think I've gotten the recognition I deserve, either, but I see sculptors flourishing in a very wide range. So I take responsibility for the fact that it may just be something to do with the Quality of my work, rather than prejudice on the part of everybody else.
  #58  
Old 06-01-2004, 03:08 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb
I find this whole argument strange and, frankly... So I take responsibility for the fact that it may just be something to do with the Quality( should be underlinded) of my work, rather than prejudice on the part of everybody else.

Hear Hear... In life two things always float, cream and shit.

Robert
  #59  
Old 06-01-2004, 06:55 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

anecdotal:

Once upon a time, and a very long time ago it was:
A friend called and asked
"do you get the trib?"
"yeh"
"Have you seen the Fridays section?"
"No, I just got home a little while ago"
"Open it up................."
"OK"
and I did, and there on the front page, full page was DONNA----full frontal nudity and all.............yippee
.......at the bottom of the page, was the photographers name, and a blurb about our art-fair.........(I'm thinking......"sculpted by that crazy guy who no-one ever talks about.......that crazy anonymous guy blessed with no name)
ok so I called the photographer and asked her about it-------she didn't know it had been published---though she sounded pleased----(and she is a very good photographer) In response to my "Why?"..she said..."probably a slow news day"
next year, they did the same thing with Angelicus------and 2 regional papers picked up on the pictures and story of the artfair.....

.....Why should I complain?......

So...........I was here in Iowa getting no press and feeling ignored...so I called the local paper and asked if they'd care to do a story about me and actually mention my name.....small chatting time and I said...OK I just e-mailed you some pictures.....small chatting as he downloaded....then he said "Sure, when can we meet".......
"How's tomorrow look for you?"
"I'm free in the afternoon"
"OK, how about 2ish"
"That would be good"
.................bla,bla,bla (and some pictures)......he recalled and came early, and we sat on the balcony after a tour of the studio and sculptures, for a 2 hr interview.............
so.........he gave me 2 pages and published 4 photographs......I had obviously strayed way off topic on some of my rambling stream of consciousness rapps...so philosophy and personal history were not neglected......
...........a couple years later................
I called another local paper..........This time, the reporter brought her photographer.....
...........a year later, I called another local paper....twice.....then the story repeated-----------the local papers avoided publishing frontal nudity, so some of the pieces were shot from peculiar angles.....

Why should I complain?

To this day, I meet local people who remember the articles---e.g.: today a local photographer called in response to my call for models, and said that she remembered the article.

seems lots of artists want the attention of art critics---and that is what I had understood from the post by Daniel Bahrain of the 29th.
Ergo the Hart reference.

I e-mailed the publisher of the Iowa art paper----and included pix links and a bit of a blurb about the travels with ISIS------he emailed and called back and said he wanted to do a story of the work and me this autumn..............

from the above.......it would seem that even an offbeat eccentric rural recluse of an artist can garner press with a couple phone calls and e-mails...
....and....the attention of a good staff photographer and a slow news day...(a.k.a. blind luck)

and then........there's dozens of e-zines hungry for a little story here and there....... e.g.: all about art, another sun, arteutile, .............

........I'm sure there's a moral in this story .........somewhere..........
  #60  
Old 06-01-2004, 10:00 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; press

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb
I find this whole argument strange and, frankly, it's getting tiresome. Up until half way through the 20th Century, virtually all sculpture was "figurative", except for some Symbols and decoration. ...
As I posted elsewhere here recently, only about 10% in jest, “Vive la difference.” I wholeheartedly endorse what I consider good “abstract” sculpture, but in my view those pieces are about as rare as Michelangelo, Rodin, and some of the Classical Greeks in figurative work. OK, not as rare, since we probably have a world and also art-active population 50 to several hundred times as large as the comparable groups 120, 500, or 2500 years ago, when they respectively were working.

I do think it is objectively true that the press, at least here, and by repute elsewhere, generally ignores figurative work in favor of “abstract” work. The cause - vogue, trendiness, snob value, residuum of the 1870 - 1950 art wars over subject matter, whatever? As I stated above, I decided some time ago to travel my own road. But I do thank JAZ for the openmindedness to see that there might be a case here, and I also admire her for her sense of mission in making opportunities better for all.
  #61  
Old 06-02-2004, 04:17 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Fritchie, as I've said before, I love your work. And I also have great respect for all the wisdom you contribute to these pages on such a wide variety of topics. However, I think you're all wet on this one. If the press or the establishment there or anywhere is paying undue attention to "abstract" work they are A.) about 50 years late, and B.) probably trying to make up for having ignored the abstractionists they're featuring completely, while they were ALIVE. I think it's true that the popular press focuses on the outrageous prices being paid lately at auctions, a lot of which is for works by early 20th Century "modern" artists. That's clearly all about "names" rather than appreciation of artistic merit. Even the American "Art press" is more about big sales and big Collectors and big administrators of big museums and collections, than it is about Art. But I do not accept that representational, figurative sculptors get less attention / credit / adulation than "non-representational" ones. My experience - all around the country - is quite the opposite.
  #62  
Old 06-02-2004, 10:41 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; state of the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb
Fritchie, as I've said before, I love your work. And I also have ..........However, I think you're all wet on this one. ....... My experience - all around the country - is quite the opposite.
jwebb - I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this one. The local art reviews to which I have referred are about local galleries. They rarely mention the national art scene. And, comments dispersed throughout the forum, not only in this particular thread, suggest to me that my perception is a common one among figurative sculptors nationally.

Close to the beginning of this Community about a year ago. Russ ( I think) relayed some comments he’d heard from figurative sculptors across the country, to the effect that “I thought ISC was for [abstract] sculptors only!”

And I do think the quality issue regarding “abstract” sculptures is a real one, thought not one I want to push. Very few people in any field reach the pinnacle, but I think the “fine art” press of today is quite lax in serious review of “abstract” work. It mainly serves as a promotional tool.
  #63  
Old 06-02-2004, 11:20 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; state of the field

I suppose it partly depends on what your definition of figurative work is. Recently I was at the Whitney Biennial 2004 in New York and just about everything had some link to the representational, sometimes including the human figure and sometimes not. But defiantly not abstract - actually I don't think most of the work would fit fritche's pure definitions of figurative or abstraction.

But for this Biennial, lines have formed going out the door and it has gotten lots of press by any measure. A friend of mine that likes more classically figurative work didn't much like the show. Another friend who does abstract work also didn't like the show. However the show is a success, and has generated a audience that likes this almost pop work that pays reference to a large number of figurative and cultural elements.

This question about who gets the most press seems inflammatory at best especially as referenced to what any individual believes "good" art is.

The grass must always look greener on the other side of the fence.
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  #64  
Old 06-03-2004, 08:25 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Just a curiosity...

Can anyone here name one national or New Youk Art Critic who writes about the figurative as fritchie or I would define the figurative?

as/re Lot's bargain.........name just one

Last edited by sculptor : 06-03-2004 at 10:03 PM. Reason: epimethius
  #65  
Old 06-03-2004, 09:02 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; state of the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by RuBert
I suppose it partly depends on what your definition of figurative work is. Recently I was at the Whitney Biennial 2004 in New York and just about everything had some link to the representational, sometimes including the human figure and sometimes not. But defiantly not abstract - actually I don't think most of the work would fit fritchie's pure definitions of figurative or abstraction. Etc.
Russ - Can you post a link to this show? (Of course, I could look it up and probably will if you don’t beat me there. Each of the many times I’ve been to NY, I ‘ve made the Whitney an early stop, sometimes liking what I see and sometimes finding the whole visit a waste of time. One thing about this place - they certainly are experimental. I’ve not looked at national art magazines for several years because of more pressing matters, but I think the Whitney’s annual “new art” show a couple of years ago was widely panned.

What is the critical vies of this one? Or has a consensus formed yet?
  #66  
Old 06-03-2004, 10:44 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; state of the field

Hi Charles, we also had a bit of a discussion going before about the Whitney show here: Is Sculpture Too Free for Its Own Good?

There is a site for the show, but it is very different to look at than the show itself. It is here and you need flash: http://www.whitney.org/biennial/flash/poplg.php

I know you are broad minded about definitions pertaining to the very nature of art, and don't just see all sculpture as just fitting just two categories. The other end of the spectrum is to create a new category for every "ism" there is, however that only pigeonholes art in a different way.
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  #67  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:36 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move; whitney show

Quote:
Originally Posted by RuBert
I suppose it partly depends on what your definition of figurative work is. ........

This question about who gets the most press seems inflammatory at best especially as referenced to what any individual believes "good" art is.

The grass must always look greener on the other side of the fence.
Russ - On this point, you might change the title of this thread to something like ”Media and Criticism”, as that’s the main issue discussed here. Or you could just shelve is as inactive if you prefer. Most of the major issues have been aired. “Abstractionists” don’t see things the same way, but the question of current critical reception is a significant one for figurative sculptors. Many have moved to the “Western” or “Wildlife“ arenas because of deflection by “high art” critics and media.

Sorry I didn’t connect the essay on the nature of sculpture to this Whitney show. As I said at the beginning of that thread, I decided to blow off the essay as superfluous. I guess I’ll have to read it now. So much for titles!

Last edited by fritchie : 06-04-2004 at 09:43 PM.
  #68  
Old 06-16-2004, 10:55 AM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Hi everyone, First of all, I'd like to say that I totally agree with JWebb on this subject. The art going public (who you'd think were knowledgeable) looks at non-objective (a better term than "abstract") sculpture and says "What is that?". They think that we do non-obj work because we can't do the other. Well I can, but choose not to! I find that doing non-obj sculpture is much more challenging. To convey feelings and emotions non-objectively and to avoid letting the piece become decorative (I always watch out for that) is to me much harder than doing a realistic piece.
To Daniel , I'd like to ask is it recognition you're after or just doing good quality work? Art is all about the journey and the doing. As far as publicity is concerned, you sound angry and bitter about your lack of press or recognition but none of that will come your way with the attitude that you've shown. I haven't seen your work so I can't comment about it (and who am I, anyway?) but perhaps you should take a good long honest look at what you're doing and ask yourself those tough questions like "Is this really good work?", etc. If you can honestly answer "yes" to that and any other questions or doubts that you may have then you should stick to your guns, have faith in your work and your abilities and just keep producing "your" work. It's not always easy to do when there are no sales or recognition but that's what separates the artists from the dilettantes. Be confident in your work and try not to be such a curmudgeon. Jeff
  #69  
Old 06-16-2004, 06:21 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

IRONMAN
Hi Jeff:

would you post a picture of your figurative work?

~¿ô there may be hope for you yet..........

rod
  #70  
Old 06-16-2004, 10:35 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please ... Let’s move to civility

[quote=ironman]Hi everyone, First of all, I'd like to say that I totally agree with JWebb on this subject. The art going public (who you'd think were knowledgeable) looks at non-objective (a better term than "abstract") sculpture and says "What is that?". They think that we do non-obj work because we can't do the other. Well I can, but choose not to! I find that doing non-obj sculpture is much more challenging. ........ [quote]

Jeff - I may be the chief recent lightning rod in this thread, because I have insisted rather loudly and over time that what you call non-objective work tends to get a free ride in sculptural criticism, whereas the more classical forms, perhaps better called realistic, are derisively labeled genre; or worse, are omitted completely by the media world of free critical reviews.

Looking back, the title of this thread might better have been something like “Are sculpture critics blind?” Or maybe “ ... One-eyed?”

You say you can do realistic work but choose not to, because you find abstraction more challenging. I take just the opposite view. Most of my professional background has dealt with highly abstract spatial concepts, in the area of atomic and molecular structure as well as mathematics.

I haven’t tried abstract or non-obj sculpture because I think it would be trivial and add nothing of significance to today’s art world. Maybe I’m wrong, and it would be more of a challenge. Nonetheless, I find the irregular, esthetically somewhat awkward human figure more of a challenge, and I prefer to work with that. When I began about a dozen years ago, I asked myself “What can I add to a field that is, in terms of classical western art, about 2500 years old, and in terms of world art perhaps 30,000 years old?

It didn’t take me long to realize that each person’s work is unique and my figures are unlike those that would be produced by anyone else at any time or place. That doesn’t address the issue of quality, of course, or whether my pieces would as well dropped into the sea as displayed. But I think today’s art world largely is driven by the field of professional criticism, and I think that field itself is about a half-century out of date.

Sorry this has gone on so long. This has been a highly contentious thread, but one that I think contains valuable material, nonetheless, and one which is worth considering. (Maybe after a good Drambuie or two.)

Last edited by fritchie : 06-16-2004 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 06-17-2004, 11:21 AM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Hi Fritchie, I don't agree that non-obj art gets a free ride from the critics but I do agree that realistic work is often ignored. Work done in any genre by sincere professional artists should be recognized and dealt with by the critics. I've been doing sculpture for over 30 years and I've done some real stinkers (that have never seen the light of day) as I'm sure we all have but what really pisses me off is to walk into a gallery and see non-obj work that is just derivitive of something done better 30-40 yrs. ago or Dave McGary's work, which to me is god awful (sorry Dave, if your listening) yet commands such high prices. I've also met people (non artists) who have told me "abstract sculpture looks easy, I think I'll make some". Needless to say, I've never heard from them again! I think that good work is good work wether it be realistic or non-obj. One has to find ones own voice and then just do it. I've had great reviews and I've been panned and I've learned more from the later. You can't let yourself get bogged down worrying about critics, gallery owners or the art viewing public, they're beyond your control, just worry about what you can control, "your own work". There seems to be some sort of "realist VS abstract" contest going on here in this thread and I think that's abhorrent. Most of us are sincere, well meaning and honest people who are just trying our level best to do good quality work in whatever genre they choose. That should be enough. Sincerely, Jeff
p.s. I lived in New York and was schooled there in the late 60's, early 70's and was taught that you had to know how to do realistic sculpture first before you could go into abstraction ( which was implied to be a higher calling). No one back then was showing realistic art in NYC and getting any sort of notice, except maybe Marino Marini who's work I love and Moore's who I don't particularly care for.
  #72  
Old 06-17-2004, 10:37 PM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move

Ironman - Very good post, and unfortunately you're right about the contest. My current inclination is to “Blame the critics - the umpires!”, the same people who led to your eventual decision to leave NY. I also think it’s time to leave the Us versus Them! approach and to welcome all sincere 3D workers to this Community.

That’s what the Internet does - let ordinary people bypass the Authorities and create their own world.

And, by the way, I reverse your order of preference. I vastly prefer Moore, but do have an appreciation for Marini.
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:52 AM
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Re: Figurative Sculptors Please move to the Back ...

Hi Fritchie, I think your right about ending this realist VS abstract thread but I would like to say something about Moore & Marini. I'll preface this by saying that we can only look at and appreciate work from our own perspective. A 20, 30 or even a 40 year old person isn't going to see the same thing as my 57 year old eyes and mind see them. I find Moore's work too awkward, his limbs too much like a gumbie figure. Of course gumbie wasn't around when he did his work otherwise I think his critical eye might have said "I've got to change that, it's too gumbieish!" I also find his figurative work to be too much of a stylization which is what students do as a transitional phase into the understanding of abstraction. Here again Moore (Nadelman also) could only come from their time and their work is to me probably a reaction to Rodin. But what really turned me off to Moore was a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of art in NY. One piece in particular, a mother & child was just so offensive to me that I just couldn't believe that a sculptor of his stature could let it out of his studio. It looked as if the mother & child were done separately and then just stuck together. Scale and size were just all wrong and the piece didn't work (to me) at all. I also find his work too sullen, morose or somber, take your pick. Marini on the other hand although he did many many horse & rider pieces expresses humor and a joie de vivre, you smile when you look at them. In the late 80's I could have bought one from a gallery in Manhattan for only about $2 million. Ah, missed my chance!, and when the judge asked me why I robbed the banks I'd just answer "well your honor, there was this Marini sculpture.........". C U later, Jeff
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Russ RuBert