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-   -   World's Ugliest Sculpture ? (http://www.sculpture.net/community/showthread.php?t=6345)

mountshang 10-21-2007 08:52 PM

World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Just saw a photo of this one in the NYT -- originally made in 1920, it's recently been moved to the Capitol Rotunda in honor of its subject matter.



http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/rotunda/suffrage_1.cfm


Apparently, it's been given the nickname "Three Women in a Tub"

So what do you think ?

Is it the world's ugliest sculpture ? or ... just 80 years ahead of its time ?

fritchie 10-22-2007 07:36 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I don't find it a bad piece at all. I see it's by a female carver. I'd like to see more detail in fact, but the purpose of these articles mainly is to create controversy and sell papers, so they aren't going to waste more resources than necessary. (Getting to be a media cynic these days!)

I do think the double base is overly large for the piece, but that may be to keep visitors from touching or possibly damaging it. (Added in edit: I see from the article this has been in the rotunda since 1996, substantiating my opinion about the article.)

evaldart 10-22-2007 09:06 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Those three little heads can't compete with the monolith below them. Bad decision to cut the portraits out of the very rock that is also the base/footing/riser etc. Coceptually flawed.

StevenW 10-23-2007 12:13 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
It bothers me to no end the small size of images on the web. High speed, huge hard drives dirt cheap and all I can see is Abraham Lincoln with two women stuck in a Maytag. Looks like a lot of work that just ran out of steam, seen it happen a lot. I bet if I could see any detail it would probably look a little better..

Aaron Schroeder 10-23-2007 12:52 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I agree about the image size limitation. Bad work almost always looks better when it takes up the full screen. Is a community Flickr account an option? Could we all share a user ID and password ? Or would there be IP problems ?
What stands in the way of bigger pictures ? Money? How Much ? We must be able to post bigger images.

That's my sense of entitelment speaking.

Multi_Pass 10-23-2007 02:06 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Ab Lincoln, lol. I did a google search and found another view that you can make larger.

Hope I can post it. :/

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/ppmsc/00000/00029r.jpg

Or just do a google image search on "Adelaide Johnson marble" and check out the first picture. Still not a detailed view though.

It does look to me to be a sculpture that ran out of steam. Looks like maybe she was planning on having a fourth figure in the back and just couldn't finish it and did the best she could with what she was able to manage. Even as it is now, I'm failing to see how it's at all ugly and more importantly how it could possibly be the world's ugliest sculpture. I've seen far worse in museums.

furby 10-23-2007 04:15 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
there's hundreds if not thousands of far uglier sculptures around... this ones just boring.

Merlion 10-23-2007 08:39 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I agree the sculptor was probably planning to carve a 4th bust at the back, but for some reason did not start on it.

I also agree, it is not that the sculpture is ugly, but that it is boring.

GlennT 10-23-2007 11:04 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
What's boring about three well-dressed 19th century ladies soaking in a lace-bordered hot-tub?

jOe~ 10-23-2007 11:13 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Quote:

What's boring about three well-dressed 19th century ladies soaking in a lace-bordered hot-tub?
And I thought you were straight laced!

underfoot 10-23-2007 03:31 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
or perhaps a surprise gift at an amish bucks party

mum, grandma and aunt hilda popping out of a cake.

mollycarpenter 10-23-2007 06:06 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenW (Post 47385)
It bothers me to no end the small size of images on the web. High speed, huge hard drives dirt cheap and all I can see is Abraham Lincoln with two women stuck in a Maytag. Looks like a lot of work that just ran out of steam, seen it happen a lot. I bet if I could see any detail it would probably look a little better..

Hahahaha!!! A Maytag a hot tub...hahaha!!!!
Hahaha!
Heh heh- and given who they were...*dabs eyes* whew!
My apologies to the sculptress. I'm sure much of my stuff gets laughs too...:D

mountshang 10-24-2007 10:32 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Multi_Pass (Post 47391)
Even as it is now, I'm failing to see how it's at all ugly and more importantly how it could possibly be the world's ugliest sculpture. I've seen far worse in museums.



I know I'll regret this, but ......................



If any of you have seen uglier statues in museums or famous public places -- could you show us a link ?

jOe~ 10-24-2007 10:58 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Quote:

I know I'll regret this, but ......................
If any of you have seen uglier statues in museums or famous public places -- could you show us a link ?
What is your motive? I've seen plenty that cause me to instantly look away . Why discuss something that makes me want to gag? Let those that enjoy it have their fun. Is there something constructive in bashing someones efforts or what others value? Feelings of superiority and moral authority appeal to small minds.

Aaron Schroeder 10-25-2007 01:28 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
jOe~........it's not even that. Something with in us all feels something for the folks that.....just like us....... strives for something........then fails/falls and can't get up. It makes us laugh. It may not be right........it's wrong........but it sure is funny. I'll be the first to confess to having a small mind.......but I don't feel superior or like a moral authority. I think I'm hardwired to laugh at the misfortune of others. I stop myself when I can.......because I know no one wants to be laughed at........it hurts..........but a really bad sculpture or drawing........has ( can have ) a medicinal like effect on the veiwer. Laughter can be great medicine. I value bad art. Sometimes it can do more to lift my spirits than any masterpiece.

Oh..........The Humanity.

StevenW 10-25-2007 02:12 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Maybe it's funny Aaron because we actually empathize with failed work and use humor to soften the blow. The Maytag comment was an attempt at light hearted humor on a sculpture focusing on serious woman and women's issues. I thought it was funny they all landed in a washing machine in a Larson toon sort of way. Anyone who hasn't looked at their own pieces after working dozens or hundreds of hours and finally saying to themselves; what the hell have I done? Hasn't been doing this long enough or has some kind of delusions maybe or just doesn't care.. I'm still working for one that can withstand my own criticism meter over the long run and it may be years if it ever even happens.

The bigger picture helps, I can see a lot of great work in the piece, yet it still looks like it just stopped. Michelangelo left pieces unfinished and then it became a trend because after all, if the great master did it that way then it must be right. The only problem with leaving stone rough hewn like this is that none of us are Michelangelo and even his unfinished pieces tower over those completed by others. It's just as important, if not more so to point out what doesn't work so well as what does because that's how we learn what works for us.

Aaron Schroeder 10-25-2007 02:44 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Empathy........I think is the catch word. We all want to be great.........make our mothers proud. Sculpting, making things in general can be hard work. Failure is certain. Great sculptors make mis-takes. Bad sculpture leads to better sculpture.........how can you seperate one from the other. Only by fathoming the time between. Grasping the humility that we all feel from one piece to the next.............That's the Art spirit that drives us all. In my world, the good, the Bad and the ugly are all the same. Deeply connected.

grommet 10-25-2007 07:58 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Maybe it's a comment on the stifled existence of women, with only a few raising their heads up and making themselves known--- the unfinished work of women...

I had to stop, I think I made myself throw up a little.

GlennT 10-25-2007 09:11 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
One thing that criticizing with humor does for those not so wrapped up in our egos, is that we can look at and learn from mistakes, and have the ridicule be a goad so that we never make ourselves vulnerable to having our work ridiculed by creating ridiculous work.

Then again, given the current cultural climate, others may be inspired to want to emulate the mistakes of others and take them even further so they too can be ridiculed.

There is of course a line that can be drawn between just criticism and mean-spirited attack, so don't try this at home unless you have clear moral superiority, such as an ability to distinquish between a large and a small mind.

jOe~ 10-25-2007 10:12 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I get it Aaron. The first complete sentence I can recall my daughter uttering, and she ran around the house yelling it all the time, was, "I laugh in the face of danger!" I should round around and yell "I laugh in the face of ugly art!" instead of being a whuss and giving in to intestinal weakness.

Denis 10-25-2007 02:59 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Mountshang,

I don't know...you will probably like this one by Bourdelle. He has his own museum in Paris. It's not ugly, I just don't like it

It's in the Orsay or a raised dais so you get the full "balls in the face" effect...unless your approaching it from the rear............

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:H..._Bourdelle.jpg

Denis

jOe~ 10-25-2007 03:12 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Any archer would tell you that the bow is ridiculously out of proportion. And for someone like Hercules you'd expect some real balls. The sculptor emphasized the wrong equipment.

evaldart 10-25-2007 05:49 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
That archer sculpture is at the MET.(at least one of them is). Its not about an archer, its about dynamics and implied tensions. I like it alot. The compositional thrust is undeniable: supreme use of the figure to unsettle the viewer with imminent release. A real edge-of-your-seat kind of piece.

leslie jackson 10-25-2007 10:08 PM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Hi,

There are SO many pieces of cornea burning flotsam and jetsam out there, but this one came immediately to my mind.

This comes from the camp of ubiquitous ,'ugly chocolate people' currently annoying every park goer these days..

Yipes! no wonder the modern art :'variation on a donut' persists!....

anyway, CHECK THIS OUT;

http://pdxartwork.blogspot.com/2006/...sculpture.html

furby 10-26-2007 07:10 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I like that archer. they did used to have very long bows sometimes, i think it's ok as a bow too.

jOe~ 10-26-2007 09:37 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Yes Leslie, it did make me spontaneously laugh. But I don't know which was funnier, the piece or the crack about Spokane.

mollycarpenter 10-27-2007 08:13 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by leslie jackson (Post 47574)
Hi,

There are SO many pieces of cornea burning flotsam and jetsam out there, but this one came immediately to my mind.

This comes from the camp of ubiquitous ,'ugly chocolate people' currently annoying every park goer these days..

Yipes! no wonder the modern art :'variation on a donut' persists!....

anyway, CHECK THIS OUT;

http://pdxartwork.blogspot.com/2006/...sculpture.html

Ugly chocolate people- Heh heh :)- but I actually have no problem with this. A portrait is an interpretation, and as my friend Bats says, it is the mistakes that make an artwork interesting. I noticed as I was sitting here this morning that I had taken the same pose too...

mountshang 10-27-2007 09:04 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
What surprising responses !

First -- the discussion of whether looking for examples of ugliness would only appeal to "small minds" ( I admit -- it is rather like turd sniffing)

Then -- the suggestion that Bourdelle's "Hercules" was, if not ugly, at least unlikable (something about the size of his bow and the in-your-face genitals)

Finally -- the discovery of an ordinary, contemporary American public figure sculpture. (aren't there examples of similar quality in a park near you?)


BTW -- here's an example of a similar figure in a similar setting -- but with somewhat different qualities:


http://www.ilovefiguresculpture.com/...artini/qm3.jpg

The sculptor was Quinto Martini (1908-1990) -- and how I wish I had a much larger picture of it !

StevenW 10-27-2007 10:57 AM

Re: World's Ugliest Sculpture ?
 
I'm not that surprised, "ugly", much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Certainly there are plenty of bronzes around my area, parks and buildings that seem rather ordinary and others quite pleasing. There are also many ugly things in life/sculpture that are very warmly regarded. They can grow on people and conversely; there are many pretty things which, immediately or after awhile cause revulsion.. The Hercules doesn't bother me a bit, I thought Michelangelo did one and it is among his missing (and perhaps still in existance) pieces..


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