Fifteen American Sculptors
Museum of Modern Art Traveling Exhibition
March 12 – March 31, 1942
In March the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago will open an exhibition entitled Fifteen American Sculptors which comes to Chicago from New York's Mueum of Modern Art. The unusual variety and wealth of creative talent which exists, particularly among the younger sculptors today, has received little recognition throughout the country, principally because of the difficulties involved in shipping. The Museum of Modern Art has assembled this exhibition and to acquaint those in other cities with the work of young and distinguished New York artists.
Today sculpture is far broader in tradition than ever before. The past thirty years have brought forth continuous experimentation with new materials and ideas. Contemporary sculptors are no longer modelers, but essentially carvers. This method of "working direct" is fundamentally the reason we find such tremendous scope in twentieth century sculpture. In carving from a piece of stone or a block of wood, the sculptor concentrates on the mass of his material, working related forms into a continuous rhythm. In this way the finished piece is a combination of spontaneity and ordered interpretations and the final forms express the intrinsic nature of the original material. Thus we see carved from stone should not be made in wood or clay.
The aesthetics of sculpture have thus been transformed since the days when sculptors turned clay models over to a craftsman, who reproduced them mechanically in marble. Rodin often left part of a figure in rough stone, but only to emphasize the organic naturalism of the finished part. Today the sculptor in stone chisels out a form which retains something of the compactness and integrity of the original block- such as the Walsh East Side Boy in the exhibition- or exploits the surface quality of the stone, as the rough finish of Ferber's Head, or the polished and again chipped areas of Werner's After the Bath. John Flannagan's Jonah and the Whale grows naturally out of the monolith of stone, Richard Davis' Bear sits as solidly as the hard stone from which he is carved.
The exhibition also includes work by Rhys Caparn, Eugenie Gershoy, Helen Nelson, Chaim Gross, Louis Slobodkin, Warren Wheelock, Issamu Noguchi, Hugo Robus and David Smith.
This text was taken from the exhibition press release.