Telling time, 1997: 60 x 25 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, wood, oil paint, metal chain, antique glass bottles, clockworks
Telling Time, detail
Museum, 1998: wax, applied metal leaf, wood; 44 1/2 x 31 x 5 1/2 inches. From top to bottom, the rows of vessels read: curiosity, specimen, artifact, wonder, sacrament.
History Lessons 4, 1997: monotype, 22 x 17 inches
The Fold, 2000: bronze, each from 2 1/2 to 3 feet in either dimension
In John Berger's peculiarly political novel titled A Painter of Our Time, the main body of the text supposedly consists of the journals of Janos Lavin, a Hungarian emigre painter living in London in the fifties. Lavin writes eloquently about his own life-- about how hard it is to be an artist in a society unappreciative of real art; about the revolution in his former homeland, and about art itself. In an entry from late summer of 1952, he ruminates:
"For the Renaissance artist draperies were what paint and drawing themselves have become for us. Their folds have become our brush marks... Renaissance drapery was as arbitrary as the facets of the Cubists... Drapery has nothing to do with dress... it entwines, flows over, trails beyond and glorifies the body just as three hundred years later Renoir made the light do."
In other words, drapery is a kind of language that changes over time. Interested in recovering that text in some personal way, I copied a detail from three images, each dating from a different century. Thus these are sculptural interpretations of two-dimensional depictions of three-dimensional drapery.
17th (red): from Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac, a painting by Baciccio (detail of Abraham's cloak)
16th (green): from an engraving by Albrecht Durer (detail of a skirt)
15th (gray): from Virgin and Child by Joos van Cleve (detail of Mary's headcloth)
The Fold 2, 2000
The Fold 3, 2000
Reliquary 1, 1997: cast glass, glass bell, wood
Genre: The Academy, 1997: wax, wood, glass, metal leaf, 38 x 27 x 8 inches
A representation of the hierarchy of painting genres (and artists) in the (now defunct) Academy. History, at the top, is followed by portrait, below which is landscape. Still life, at the bottom, was the subject which women were most encouraged to paint.
Learning through the skin, 1995-6: bronze, wood, glass, 42" x 12" x 12"
The virtues and vices of history, 1998: wax, wood, , metal leaf, glass; 13 x 24 x 4 inches. Back row: forgive. Front row: remember.
Meridian, 1992: cast glass, sandblasted flat glass, bronze, brass, wax. Around the edge of the circle of glass below, it reads: Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, mi ritrovai per una selva oscura. These are the first two lines of Dante's Inferno; they translate as "in the middle of life's journey, I found myself in a dark forest." Suspended above is a candle.
Hidden truths, 2000: wax, wood, 16 x 21 x 4 inches