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  #1  
Old 01-31-2005, 10:40 AM
thursday thursday is offline
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Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Hi all,

I'm a young Artist new to Sculpture.net and new to Sculpture in general.
I have a general question...
My interest is classical figurative work and I'm trying to get a handle on the industry as it is today.
What are the big names of contemporary figurative sculpture?
Are the Studios in Pietrasantra the best in the world?
I mean in a purely technical sense as in correct anatomy, traditional carving techniques & finish etc.
Outside of Italy, Christina Mikulasek seems to be one of the best.
http://www.mikulasek.com/
Is there many others still working in this vein?

I hope people will post a few names and that you'll all forgive my ignorance,

Thursday
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2005, 08:11 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

There's quite a range, and I'll take a bit of time later to post a few. Some have been mentioned in this forum, with web references. I did have problems with your Mikulasek link, though. All I got was a main page, with no apparent further links. Am I doing something wrong?
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2005, 04:10 AM
thursday thursday is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Thanks Fritchie,
Yes, it's a big topic!
I thought it would be interesting to see who different members "dream team" would consist of. I'm curious to see if there is a consensus in this particular type of sculpture.

That is odd about the Mikulasek link. At the bottom of the home page, there are buttons for the pages. Here's some direct links:
http://www.mikulasek.com/sculpture2.htm
http://www.mikulasek.com/portraiture.html

Thursday
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2005, 10:44 AM
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oddist oddist is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Check out http://www.luigigalligani.it/

I believe every country is going to have it's own culturally inspired examples.
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"Important artists are innovators whose work changes the practices of their successors; important works of art are those that embody these innovations."
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2005, 12:56 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Hello,
Someone you might want to take a look at is a sculptor by the name of Sabin Howard. (sabinhoward.com) He is very interesting and certainly working from a classical perspective. If Fredrick Hartt were still alive he would be one of the obvious choices, but his early death robbed the world of many great sculptures. Mikulasek is atually one of the people I would put at the medium level of ability. Look up a sculptor by the name of Hlavka. He is working at a very high level. Richard McDonald is definitely one of the best when it comes to sheer power and accuracy of the human form. Loveland, Colorado has many talented sculptors and I think the majority are figurative. If you spend some time on google, what I do, you can find a good number of really gifted sculptors to be inspired by.


A word of advice, from a one time young artist to another, go to the past to find out what is truly good and what is not. The Greeks set out certain porportions and sculpting concepts that held sway in the art world until the middle ages and then were rediscovered during the Renaissance. From then until really the end of the 19th century artists have continued in that tradition, but since the advent of "modern/post modern" art during the last century, much of that learning has gone out of use. This is true to a much greater degree in America than in Europe. Many of the figurative sculptors today are working apart from that tradition and are really using a more documentary approach which is akin to photorealism. Learning to distinguish between that approach and a truly classical approach will benefit you greatly. If you look to places like the New York Academy of Art, The Florence Academy of Art, and a few other places like them, you will see what the true standard is for excellence in the classical/figurative arts today.

Some artists from the past for you to look at are: Bernini, Carpeaux,
St. Gaudens, Myslbek,Vigeland, Rodin, and of course Michelangelo. The 19th century itself will provide a great many sculptors whose work is technically impeccable though somewhat dated by our standards.

Good luck in your pursuits

Jason
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2005, 09:50 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture; GET TO WORK!

I have to thank Jason for reviving this earlier post, in which I frankly dropped the ball. The truth is, I put the question off originally because I’m not aware of any figurative artists working today, or even ones who have worked recently, whose work I consider exemplary.

I did plan to do some Google searches, and hoped the question might generate other answers, but the paucity of responses more or less accurately describes the state of figuration today. Relatively few people work in the field, and genuine genius is rare.

I’d say, the figurative artist today has to find his/her own way, and the path begins with a recognition that art comes from the mind and not from the eye. I have worked with the goal of making my sculpture reflect people around me rather than people of five hundred to several thousand years ago and a quarter of a world from where I live.

I’d suggest aspiring figurative artists look at the world around them, study the field twith whatever sources are available - museums, books, the Internet, schools. Acquire basic materials, techniques and aids such as modeling stands, armatures, clay, plaster, photography (to share your work and ask for help), and so on. I consider working from life essential and it’s not cheap, even through schools, unless you have one or more cooperative friends. And get to work!

Not the best answer, probably, but some suggestions have made it here, and hopefully this refreshed thread will add more.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2005, 10:12 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

To do a bit more of my own homework I just checked the references in both Thursday’s and oddist’s posts. Thursday’s links to Christina Mikulasek’s website made my browser crash several times, but not before I could see some of the sculpture. It is good, and she seems to use classical references in much of her own work. Luigi Galligani’s site came in better, and I liked the 3 or 4 I saw, in a presumably “Flash” sequence.

I also checked Jason’s recommendation, sabinhoward.com. These works satisfy your request for anatomical realism, but strike me as precisely that, and illustrate my major point above - art is made with the mind and not the eye. This is sculpture which demonstrates anatomy and has little or no emotional content.

I still say, look around with whatever resources you have, and get to it.

Last edited by fritchie : 04-21-2005 at 10:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2005, 11:37 AM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

To make an addition to what fritchie has said, I think that except for a couple of contemporary figurative scultptors, his assesment is correct. Today there are few that go beyond the documentary approach that seems to be the standard for so many. This is very much a result of a disconnect with the traditions of the past......I should amend my statement and say that if you look to these contemporary sculptors and institutions I listed you will see examples of the best that can be offered at this time. Thanks to fritchie for enabling me to clarify a point that did need it.

I also agree about Sabin Howard. His work is lacking in the area of emotive power, due in great part to his focus on technique...but he is still one of the best today. Technical skill has in many peoples' minds replaced creative vision, but that isn't to say that everyone has that mindset. I think that in many respects artists like Macdonald and Hartt have made a connection to that type of sculpture that in the past was the rule rather than the exception. In terms of living sculptors, you have to work with what you have.

Truly, for my money, the past is the best place you can find to reconnect with a visionary approach to art in general. Looking at a painter like El Greco informs my sculpture far more than the majority of the living sculptors today. Remember, sculptors aren't just limited to one medium for learning and inspiration. Look at any artist that seems to "get it". The art nouveau graphic artist Alphonse Mucha, for example, is an unlikely, but inspiring source for compositional and design elements as well as his ability to create a pleasing visual shorthand for the form. One of my favorite artists is John Singer Sargent, though many only see him as a portraitist, his use of paint is akin to Rodin's use of clay. The trait that makes a great sculptor is not always what you think and there are many two dimensional artists who possess these traits as well.

Think on this......If the artists of the late Gothic period had not looked back and revived much of the forgotten knowledge of the Greeks and Romans....there would not have been a Renaissance. We know that the result of their acknowledgement of the past is what radically changed the course of art in the western world. Are we of the figurative tradition at this time at such a crossroads now? When much of that knowledge that was passed down from period to period, each movement using it in a different way but holding to the universal truths of sculpture/art,.....when that knowledge by and large has ceased to be taught in most colleges and universities,...what is our recourse? We are in a position to allow that knowledge to pass out of memory or we can redisdover it as the Gothic artists did classical antiquity. The ball, as I see it, is in our court. This is a good thing I think.


Jason
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2005, 08:03 AM
Foundryman1 Foundryman1 is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Important sculptors in the American art scene
My top ten:
Richard McDonald
Jane DeDecker
Glenna Goodacre
Tuck Langland
Joseph Sheppard
Jan Rosetta
Victor Issa
Richard McDermott Miller
Martin Eichinger

Some of these are going to be remembered more for their contribution to 'sculpture' rather than for their own pieces necessarily, (Langland and Sheppard), and in making up this list, I think there are others that are extremely noteworthy, whose names will continue to appear: Richard Blake, Edward Fleming, Barbara Margolis, Dan Ostermiller, Tim Cherry, W. Stanly Proctor, Christopher Smith, Saiji Saito, Veryl Goodnight, Judith Bransome, Jay Hall Carpenter, Carol Harless, and Gary Lee Price, just to name a few. I wish there were a good site I could send you to to view their important works, but even internet searches return anemic results at best.

However, if it is inspiration and emulation you desire, I can only repeat what others have said: return to the Greeks and Romans, spend time in the Louvre, and make a pilgrimage to Florence.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:41 AM
reinertor reinertor is offline
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Smile Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

I recently discovered Sabin Howard's work through his Hermes at the TimeWarner Center in NYC (currently 2nd floor). It is breathtaking. I disagree with JasonGillespie who said (above), "His work is lacking in the area of emotive power, due in great part to his focus on technique...but he is still one of the best today." It is true that Sabin Howard is one of the best today (I imagine that soon he will be widely accepted as THE best), but I can't imagine how anyone could accuse him of lacking emotive power. Quite the contrary; this masterpiece exudes fundamental feelings of peace, joy and love. Maybe those are not really emotions, and it is true that one does NOT sense "emotion" in the sense of angst or anger in Sabin Howard's work. The New York Times comparisons to Donatello and Rodin are apt. In the case of Sabin Howard's Hermes, it appears on par even with Michelangelo.

This is an artist to watch.
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2006, 04:21 PM
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dondougan dondougan is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Nobody has named Igor Mitoraj -- the German-born Polish sculptor who lives and works in both France and Pietrasanta.

Here is one link for some of his larger cast pieces:

http://www.adhikara.com/igor-mitoraj/index.html

Though at first glance his work (carved marble, cast bronze and iron, some fired ceramic) seems classically realistic, it has layers of references that keep it from being a re-hash of classic figurative work.

Mitoraj is widely exhibited in Europe and I've seen some of his work in Japan, but other than a 'Spoleto' festival in Charleston back in the early 1990s I very rarely see references to his work in American publications. I don't think he offers any kind of classes anywhere, but I just can't imagine talking about contemporay figurative sculpture without including his work.

Another sculptor who does some excellent highly-realistic figurative work (including forensic anthropology) is Phillip Faraut:

http://www.philippefaraut.com/

He offers classes on his website if you are in the New York area.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2006, 12:44 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Thanks for the links to the two remarkable artists Dondougan.

Digressing a bit, I notice when Mitoraj presents the large figurative bronzes with parts of their antomies cut off, he show the cut off edges of the hollow bronze, rather than covering up the openings.

I'm sure he has good reasons for doing so, perhaps to make it obvious that the bronze pieces are hollow. On the other hand, I can think of quite a few reasons why this is undesirable, some are visual/artistic, and some are practical. On balance, I think I would prefer covering them up.

Last edited by Merlion : 04-10-2006 at 12:50 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2006, 07:42 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Don - Thanks for calling attention to Igor Mitoraj here. I certainly think he belongs in this group. Someone posted at least one image of his on the site a year or so ago, and I found the work very impressive. It's an odd mixture of classical figuration and modern diversion, sort of theatrical in a way, but overall I like it and find it substantive.

On Merlion's point about ragged edges or internal openings, I commonly do the same on my partial figures, but there also are cases where I close them. Just whatever seems appropriate at the time and for the particular piece.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2006, 10:15 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Doudougan.Igor Mitoraj.I named him ,if you check my posts.That is the way how the sculpture should be done. Doudougan again hit in the target.I mentioned Phillip Faraut in other forum.The people there wonderred where to study and prefere Richard Mc Donald .I wasn't agree with them.Doudougan.It is good to see somebody who knows what is a good sculpture.

Last edited by Arnis : 04-10-2006 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:57 PM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

[I am very interested in this request because I am forming a list of "Who,s Who", in practicing Contemporary Sculptors to be used for corporate and private investors. I have enjoyed reading your replies and would appreciate any further information regarding gallery and museum quaility sculptors interested in representation. This is a premier project w/ little or no cost involved for listing and background and location information.

Thank You,
Saundra Hough
MASA
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:02 PM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

My Name................some Day !
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:49 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Quote:
Originally Posted by arcdawg
My Name................some Day !
Right on! Best of luck!
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:29 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

I thought I would add one of my professors to the growing list. Leonid Lerman is one of those great figurative artists that has found his delving into abstraction to be a powerful component in giving contemporary meaning to the tradition of figurative sculpture. The links below show the breadth of his abilities and his evolution from a strict traditional to a contemporary/traditional approach.


www.academicart.com/lerman.htm
www.giotto.org/donatello/lerman/
www.giotto.org/donatello/lerman/academic.html
www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.1/lerman.htm
http://www.mckeegallery.com/artists/...erman_img.html

My earliest experience with him was in our first semester drawing class. His eye is ruthless in finding the weaknesses of your work. The outcome is a much better drawing in the short term and a better understanding of internal form in the long term.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:22 PM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Thanks, Jason. He's done quite a variety of work. Regardless of one's view of the place of realism in today's world, his work shows one way of accepting a degree of change.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:48 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Quote:
Originally Posted by saundrahough
[I am very interested in this request because I am forming a list of "Who,s Who", in practicing Contemporary Sculptors to be used for corporate and private investors. I have enjoyed reading your replies and would appreciate any further information regarding gallery and museum quaility sculptors interested in representation. ... etc. ...
Saundra Hough
MASA
Saundra, your post is polite and I note in your profile you say you are a sculptor, but this post borders on the sort of advertisement we generally don't permit. I'm not removing it, but I'd appreciate your saying something more in this thread about your own work, including a web site and/or images if you have them.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2006, 09:27 PM
tobias tobias is offline
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

you know i am just glad that this stuff exists
thank you all for the great info
tobias
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:18 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

Because we speak for our professors. I think that one of mine gave me a lot. He is a sculptor and an architect teaching in this both academies. His training was even rougher. He encouraged us to leave if we did not succeed in learning. By that time I was completely finished as a figurative sculptor. But in his class I learned much more. I checked Leonid Lerman and he is good figurative trained. But I didn't see any relation between his previos figurative works and his contemporaly sculptures. That is a pity. My mentor told me how to do that. It doesn't matter what you do figurative or abstract, contceptual art.You should ask yourself: What I do that for? What I want to say? What is the genesis of the shape? How can I conduct and move the parts? Due to very poor result in Internet search "Kroum Damianov" I can provide only few attached files of his works. Arnis
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Last edited by Arnis : 05-26-2006 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:22 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

More pictures at his works.Arnis
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  #24  
Old 06-06-2006, 07:10 AM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

I would suggest to check out Denise Dutton’s work, http://www.sculptureconsultants.co.uk/denise_dutton.htm

enjoy
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:22 PM
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Re: Big names in contemporary figurative sculpture

I'm not addressing the question of big names - but here's my collection, to date, of my favorite sculptors (under the age of 65):


http://www.ilovefiguresculpture.com/...newcentury.htm


It's a miserably small collection -- since finding these people is such a hit-or-miss affair -- and hopefully, when I go through this thread more carefully, I'll find some new names to add.

One thing to remember is that there is plenty to be found outside the U.S. -- especially in Russia and the former Soviet republics.

Here's an interesting Russian site that I just found. There's over 300 items -- in no particular order -- and many of them look terrible (to me) -- but some of them are successful sculptors -- and some of them I really enjoy.

http://www.artrussian.com/museum/par...s/page255.html
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