bronze

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Art

Poetic Sculptures by Valérie Hadida Cast Composed Women with Coiffed Hair in Bronze

March 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Seaside,” bronze, 42 x 23 x 15 centimeters. All images © Valérie Hadida, courtesy of Galry, shared with permission

For Valérie Hadida, the deep, protective partnerships fostered between women provide the foundation for her practice. The French artist casts bronze sculptures that are poetic and nuanced, depicting female figures wearing contemplative and composed expressions. “Coming from a large family where women reign supreme and play a key role, they have established a bond of serenity, trust, and complicity with me,” she tells Colossal. “The heroines of my works are always women because I am deeply convinced that it is they who will change and save the world.”

Hadida begins with a sketch before building the figures that eventually are covered with green patina. In recent years, the size of the sculptures has grown from smaller works into those that stand more than a meter high, an expansion that brings the scale of the works closer to a human body. “I prefer to work on the curves, the flesh more than the muscles. These seem to me disabling because they are hard and violent,” she says. Most of the sculptures depict teenage years or middle age, a time that’s marked with transition and change.

Generally seated, the figures’ poses and gestures appear temporary as if the woman has just shifted or is precariously settled on a stone. Although the bodies are still, their curls often swell upward to imply movement and sometimes are embedded with smaller silhouettes like in “Nocturna.” Their locks “typify each woman in her origins, in her age… The hair moves like the branches of a tree,” the artist says, noting that the plumed strands both accentuate and stabilize the figures’ supple curves, elongated fingers, and overall shape. “These women are marked by life. I do not represent perfect or idealized figures. These silhouettes are on the contrary very marked, very cut out. But their imperfections highlight their femininity,” she says.

Hadida is represented by Galry in Paris, and you can find a larger collection of her elegantly sculpted works on Artsy.

 

“La grande zénitude” (2021), bronze, 39 2/5 × 31 1/2 × 13 4/5 inches

Detail of “Nocturna” (2017), bronze, 25 1/5 × 17 7/10 × 7 9/10 inches

Left: “La rêveuse” (2018), bronze, 32 7/10 × 8 3/10 × 10 1/5 inches. Right: “Nouvel Amour” (2020), bronze, 29 1/2 × 11 4/5 × 11 4/5 inches

Detail of “Trio de femmes” (2018), bronze, 21 3/10 × 15 × 7 9/10 inches

“Trio de femmes” (2018), bronze, 21 3/10 × 15 × 7 9/10 inches

“Jardin Secret” (2021), bronze

“Nocturna” (2017), bronze, 25 1/5 × 17 7/10 × 7 9/10 inches

Detail of “Eternel Amour” (2018), bronze, 75 x 30 x 30 centimeters

Detail of “Eternel Amour” (2018), bronze, 75 x 30 x 30 centimeters

 

 

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Art Dance

Bronze Figures Explore Movement in Sculptures by Coderch & Malavia

January 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Clio’s Dream” (2020), bronze and blue patina. All images © Coderch & Malavia, shared with permission

At the center of Coderch & Malavia’s artistic practice is the beauty of the human figure and its various expressions. The Valencia-based duo works collaboratively to cast bronze sculptures that explore the nuances of the body through dance-like movements and distinct gestures. Natural details like golden branches and feathered wings embellish many of the heavily patinaed works, Coderch & Malavia share, to evoke themes from classic literature, theater, photography, cinema, and ballet. “The human being is three-dimensional,” they say. “Probably that is the main reason why we are attracted to sculpture. It is the closest artistic representation of ourselves.”

After a discussion on intentions for a new project, the pair generally works with a live model to help the sculpture take shape. “The complicated part is organizing and sharing the physical creation of the work itself because you need double discipline,” they say. “You must learn to trust your partner and be able to share your ideas and your work with him, and, above all, you must put your ego aside in order to stay equal to commit to the final result.”

Get a glimpse into Coderch & Malavia’s process on their site and Instagram, where you can also follow their upcoming exhibitions.

 

Detail of “Clio’s Dream” (2020), bronze and blue patina

Detail of “Haiku” (2019), bronze

Detail of “Haiku” (2019), bronze

“Moonlight Shadow” (2019), bronze, 80 centimeters

“Odette” (2018), bronze, 68 centimeters

Detail of “Moonlight Shadow” (2019), bronze, 80 centimeters

Detail of “Odette” (2018), bronze, 68 centimeters

“Haiku” (2019), bronze

 

 



Art

Sweeping Gestures of Negative Space and Typography Complete Bronze Works by Jesús Curiá

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Uve” (2020), bronze, 17 7/10 × 15 2/5 × 9 1/10 inches

The bronze sculptures of Spanish artist Jesús Curiá are intentionally ambiguous. Evoking ancient relics, the patina-covered works denote no explicit gender or ethnicity. Instead, the sculptures center on nondescript figures severed by an abstract element or negative space. Whether signaling to another, marching downstairs, or grasping a skirted gown, the slim personas are often in motion. These decontextualized movements offer a glimpse into the modern condition as they fuse the most surreal aspects of experience with the real.

Dive into Curiá’s process, which includes a precise application of acid and fire, in this studio visit, and explore more of his evocative sculptures on Artsy.

 

“Nuntius” (2018), bronze and steel, 67 × 16 × 12 inches

“Sin Fin III/4” (ca. 2016), bronze and steel, 23 3/5 × 10 1/5 × 11 4/5 inches

Left: “Milenium III” (2020), bronze, 42 1/10 × 26 × 6 3/10 inches. Right: “Aire IV” (2013), bronze and iron, 18 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 5 1/2 inches

“Downstair,” bronze and iron, 34½  x 31½ x 8¾ inches

“Cuatro” (2019), bronze, 19 3/10 × 11 2/5 × 4 7/10 inches

“Decisión” (2011) bronze and iron

 

 



Art

Kehinde Wiley’s Contemporary Counterpoint to Old Confederate Monuments Unveiled in Times Square

October 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War, 2019. © 2019 Kehinde Wiley. Presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Sean Kelly, New York. Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley (previously) recently unveiled a bronze sculpture of an African American man riding a horse in the center of Times Square at Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th streets. Titled “Rumors of War,” the statue references controversial Confederate War monuments that still stand in Richmond, Virginia over a century after they were erected.

Commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Wiley’s first public artwork will be relocated to a spot near the museum’s entrance. Just over a mile away is the statue of General J.E.B. Stuart that inspired “Rumors of War”. The artist first saw the monument during a trip to Virginia in 2016. He said in an interview with the Washington Post that he chose it as a reference because of the “gestural feel of the horse.” Standing over 27 feet tall, Wiley’s sculpture mimics Stuart’s half-turned pose and the stride of the horse, but his figure is a Black man with locked hair and contemporary apparel, including a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers.

“Today we say yes to something that looks like us,” Wiley said at the unveiling event last month. “We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.” For a closer look at more of Kehinde Wiley’s important work, follow the artist on Instagram.

Update: The sculpture is now permanently in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

 

Photographer: Walter Wlodarczyk for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ian Douglas for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

 

 



Art

Bronze Sculptures of Regal African Women by Wangechi Mutu Make History at the Metropolitan Museum

September 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The Seated I, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create four bronze sculptures of African women collectively titled “The NewOnes, will free Us.” The seated women are nearly 7 feet tall, and each weighs more than 840 lbs. The sculptures are the first works of art to fill the niches of the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade since the building’s completion in 1902.

Mutu’s sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV, are dressed in coiled garments and feature polished discs on different parts of their heads. This ornamentation references the jewelry and lip plates worn by women in some African tribes. They also reference the West African and Greek tradition of caryatids, female figures carved out of wood or marble that were depicted as structural or metaphorical supports.

“Caryatids throughout history have carried these buildings to express the might and the wealth of a particular place,” the Nairobi-born artist said in a video interview on The Met’s website. Looking to use her sculptures as a way to stage what The Met calls a “feminist intervention,” Mutu added that she wanted to “keep the DNA of the woman in an active pose, but I didn’t want her to carry the weight of something or someone else.”

The NewOnes, will free Us” will remain on view in the museum’s niches through January 12, 2020. Follow along with Mutu’s travels and cultural inspirations on Instagram.

 

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

The Seated II, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated IV, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

 

 



Art

Ghostly Figures Occupy Sculptures of Architectural Ruin by Diana Al-Hadid

July 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Nolli’s Orders” (2012), Steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint, 156 x 264 x 228 inches, all images via Marianne Boesky Gallery

Diana Al-Hadid creates large-scale sculptures and installations that merge bodily forms with collapsing altars, columns, and other architectural forms. Headless bronze figures in repose appear to drip down concrete blocks, while organs surround fictional players like beautiful beasts. In each, the Syran-American artist references archaeological remains, creating ghostly figures that reference the ruins from societies past. In addition to traditional sculptural media like bronze, steel, and concrete, the artist also incorporates more experimental materials like beeswax, fiberglass, and foam. “For me to get a sculpture to lift off the floor…that’s the first way to rebel,” Al-Hadid explained about her gravity-defying work in an Art21 interview.

The Brooklyn-based artist has concurrent Nashville-based exhibitions at both the Frist Art Museum until September 2, 2019 and Cheekwood Estate&Gardens. You can see more of Al-Hadid’s sculptural work on her website and Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Synonym” (2016), Polymer modified gypsum, fiberglass, powder coated aluminum, pigment, 83 x 60 x 60 inches, Edition of 5, with 1 AP

“Suspended After Image” (2012), Wood, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, high density foam, plaster, paint, 126 x 282 x 204 inches

Detail of “Synonym” (2016), Polymer modified gypsum, fiberglass, powder coated aluminum, pigment, 83 x 60 x 60 inches, Edition of 5, with 1 AP

Detail of “Antonym” (2012), Steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint, 68 x 63 x 54 inches

Detail of “In Mortal Repose” (2011), Bronze and concrete, 72 x 71 x 63 1/4 inches

Installation view of “Falcon’s Fortress” at Boesky Gallery, (2017), Photography Credit: Object Studies

Detail of “A Measure of Ariadne’s Love” (2007), Mixed media 84 x 108 x 96 inches

“A Measure of Ariadne’s Love” (2007), Mixed media, 84 x 108 x 96 inches

Installation view of “Phantom Limb,” NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, 2016