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  #1  
Old 08-30-2008, 08:01 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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A rather incredible tableaux

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagen:...l_Encierro.JPG


This would belong in a theme park -- except that its parts are so sculptural -- many of which would make good monuments all by themselves.
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2008, 09:46 AM
rika rika is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Isn't the street itself a theme park? It would be perfect in Pamplona. It seems that it's in Navarra? Also, it's not clear who the artist is. I like it very much, but to me it would be even more effective without the elevated base.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2008, 11:01 AM
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

The idea is cool, and the number of figures is a definite plus, but I'm just not feeling this one. The figures are frozen and stiff. There's no sense of running or danger. The poses are very... well.... posed. No action. It makes the piece boring, in my opinion. A little more emphasis on action and off balance poses, a bit more expression in the faces. The artist seems capable of doing it better, they just didn't challenge themselves.

Overall, it's an okay piece in my book, but I wouldn't spend a lot of time looking, just from lack of interest.

Alfred
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2008, 01:49 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

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Originally Posted by rika View Post
Isn't the street itself a theme park? It would be perfect in Pamplona. It seems that it's in Navarra? Also, it's not clear who the artist is. I like it very much, but to me it would be even more effective without the elevated base.

It's in Pamplona - the sculptor is Rafael Huerta (born 1929) -- the son of another renowned Spanish sculptor, Moises Huerta, and the piece was installed in 1994 -- with additional figures added in 2007.

How exciting! This thing was just made -- and the sculptor is still alive.

Some interesting stories surround it --- since the sculptor added portraits of local dignitaries (including himself!) -- which apparently caused an uproar among those who were left out -- so the artist had to go back and remove a bunch of heads.

To me -- the figures are full of energy -- but I think the artist also had to satisfy the local community of bull-running experts regarding narrative details (just as those who sculpt surfers have to satisfy those who ride the big waves)

BTW -- I've never been to Pamplona -- but I'll bet that high pedestal is absolutely essential to properly relate that piece to the space surrounding it - and keep it from feeling like an abandoned pile of junk.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2008, 04:40 PM
fused fused is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

I like it too, maybe the pedistal keeps it above the bulls?
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2008, 05:31 PM
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

I think it is a decent monument to the annual fete, and I agree the pedestal probably is necessary to protect the sculpture, bulls, and participants during the annual event. Wonder what was added recently, and what was original. Was the pedestal always this large, with room for additions?
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2008, 09:45 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

How'd they get those bulls to stand still and pose like that? LOL
Nice work!
If I'm ever there, you'll find me looking over a balcony at the festivities with a glass of riojo in my hand.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2008, 10:00 AM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

I would have to side with Alfred on this one. The sense of motion is lacking and the figures are very wooden as a result. Typical of figurative treatments nowadays, the rendering is competent, but the ability to transmit incipient motion is missing. It would seem that gravity and momentum are no longer commonplace ideas that traditional figuration knows how to deal with...by and large. This is not the first wooden depiction of supposedly active figures I have seen. Merely describing the forms is not enough and this piece shows that to be true by virtue of the narrative.

Richard MacDonald would have done an admirable treatment of this subject...being one of the few figurative sculptors who conveys the force of gravity on the human form well. Though he is at times a little sensational in his treatments, the running of the bulls would require that I think. Thinking in that vein...



Alfred,

Having taken his workshop, did MacDonald cover gravity's effects on the soft tissues of the body and how it would be portrayed in the form? Of the examples of those who have begun working in his style, most seem to have picked up his look and choice of models/body types but miss the dynamics of organic motion his work is emblematic of. What is your observation after getting up close and personal?
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2008, 11:29 AM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Jason, I think Richard covered that in a simple statement about observation; things I was aware of before hand, and things that any artists who has gone through formal figurative training is also aware of. The difference is in those who actually observe versus those who are trying to copy a "look". Richard also edits his work and does things that go against gravity or the physical quality of the human body. He has a tendency to stretch figures, especially their necks and particularly on reclining poses. I don't think they're mistakes (although he certainly is not immune to making mistakes), rather I think they are exaggerations to make the piece more fluid or dynamic. As a figurative sculptor, I believe that observation is the first tool to successful sculpture, however, I also believe that knowledgeable exaggeration of your subject is important to take the work further than a mere copy.

It is possible that Richard could do a good version of the Running of the Bulls, but I think it would be paired down to it's common denominators and the emotions of the event, rather than the realities of the event (as the previously mentioned sculptor did). I don't think you would see a near trampling, I think it would be about bulls and people in a shared event. Maybe it wouldn't be as successful a piece of public art as this one is, simply because of how things are depicted. It's all speculation of course.... so it really doesn't matter.

But I still stand by my previous comment that this piece is not really anything special as far as public work goes.

Alfred
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2008, 07:10 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

It might just be -- that a reasonably accurate multi-figure action scene in monumental size is never going to look very good -- i.e. it serves more as a curiosity -- a moment's entertainment -- than as an aesthetic enhancement of public space.

It certainly has not been done very often (outside of amusement parks)

Can anyone here suggest a more successful attempt ?

Perhaps -- Shrady's cavalry charge ?

http://dcmemorials.com/henrymerwinshrady/015300.htm
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2008, 07:51 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

It's a well done monument to the cruelty towards animals. As artists we are seeking beauty and I see nothing beautiful in bull fighting.

G
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2008, 08:23 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountshang View Post
It might just be -- that a reasonably accurate multi-figure action scene in monumental size is never going to look very good Can anyone here suggest a more successful attempt ?
Augustus Saint Gauden's Shaw Memorial

Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time

Leonardo Bistolfi's Monument to Giosue Carducci, poet (Bologna)

George Grey Barnard's The Unbroken Law

Charles Niehaus' Mineral Wealth for the Pan -American Exposition, 1901

Robert Aitken's Fountain of the Earth and Alexander Stirling Calder's Fountain of Energy for the Pan-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco 1915

Other World's Fair sculptural groups have sometimes been successful

Carl Milles' Triton Fountain

Some of the work of Davide Calandra, 19th-20th century Italy
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2008, 05:36 PM
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rderr.com rderr.com is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

rather suprised that no one has listed Rodin's Les Bourgeois de Calais-the ultimate test of a group is that each part stands alone or as an ensemble. The same for Les Ports d'Enfer.

I am grappelling with the same problem with My Congregation (http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...t=Congregation), although some do not think it "figurative" and that I'm from "some other planet." Which I took as a compliment bye-the-bye.

RD
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2008, 07:34 AM
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

[quote=mountshang;64117]http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagen:...l_Encierro.JPG


This would belong in a theme park --QUOTE]

might look cute out front of one of the mighty financial building for few daize

Last edited by Duck : 11-18-2008 at 07:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2008, 08:00 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
Augustus Saint Gauden's Shaw Memorial

Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time

Leonardo Bistolfi's Monument to Giosue Carducci, poet (Bologna)

George Grey Barnard's The Unbroken Law

Charles Niehaus' Mineral Wealth for the Pan -American Exposition, 1901

Robert Aitken's Fountain of the Earth and Alexander Stirling Calder's Fountain of Energy for the Pan-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco 1915

Other World's Fair sculptural groups have sometimes been successful

Carl Milles' Triton Fountain

Some of the work of Davide Calandra, 19th-20th century Italy



Thanks, Glenn, I had a great time Googling everything on your list.

BTW - here's another one I found -- of ball players from Cincinnati:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/...7594271207816/


Do you know of any others where the freestanding figures are not just standing side-by-side, or marching on parade -- but are all engaged in the same active event?



Here's a few more photos of the two I showed earlier:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_u_KW4nuKg9.../rafael104.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlyfaye/2519043201/
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  #16  
Old 09-14-2008, 06:43 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Just found another multi-figure action scene -- this one by the Trieste sculptor, Attilio Serva:


img514.imageshack.us/img514/8053/0104rk0.jpg
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  #17  
Old 09-15-2008, 06:37 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Mountshang, do you know what this represents? It's clearly a Greek-inspired fighting group, with one figure facing the viewer that might be a woman. Fairly decent is my first impression.
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  #18  
Old 09-17-2008, 07:34 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

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Originally Posted by fritchie View Post
Mountshang, do you know what this represents? It's clearly a Greek-inspired fighting group, with one figure facing the viewer that might be a woman. Fairly decent is my first impression.
This monument is called "To the Fallen" -- it was made in 1935 to memorialize the soldiers who fell in WWI.

It doesn't ring my bell like Maillol's statues done for the same purpose - which are much simpler and more melancholy -- and I'm afraid the actual piece might feel small -- the result of all that muscle bound anatomical detail done for its own sake -- but I'm not sure.

I'd probably like the charging bulls better -- and I'm not too happy with a war memorial that seems to present a team of cute high school athletes who forgot to get dressed and now are who carrying an injured footballer off the field.
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  #19  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:26 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Critique:

1) This is a classic problem of sculpting at eye level and then elevating the work so that you find yourself looking up the butts of the figures.
2) Michelin man anatomy.... balloon like..strange stylization
3) proportioning is off. Heads appear bigger than the bodies..distance between the knee and foot is too short
4) Why are they nude ? did we fight WW1 in the nude ?
5) nice hands/arm on the wounded guy
6) nice sense of movement...I like the composition..reminds me of the planting of the flag Iwo Jima
7) missed opportunity to really delineate the muscles on the shield holder

G
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  #20  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:58 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giotto View Post
Critique:


4) Why are they nude ? did we fight WW1 in the nude ?
G
The Greeks fought with armour, except on ladies night in the local bar, during which they fought in the nude. Yet, they were depicted nude because of their love of the human form and artistic grace they could produce by so doing. Plus, less lines to draw on pottery.

So, perhaps the WWI momument depicts Greek soldiers? Nope, wrong conclusion. It's ladies night at the bar? Nope. Perhaps the sculptor, rightly or wrongly, thought it would lend a sense of timelessness to the composition. Or maybe he started out modeling them in uniform, but the dirty old woolens smelled up his studio so badly he said, " That's it! Were going nude here!"
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:24 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: A rather incredible tableaux

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giotto View Post
Critique:

1) This is a classic problem of sculpting at eye level and then elevating the work so that you find yourself looking up the butts of the figures.
2) Michelin man anatomy.... balloon like..strange stylization
3) proportioning is off. Heads appear bigger than the bodies..distance between the knee and foot is too short
4) Why are they nude ? did we fight WW1 in the nude ?
5) nice hands/arm on the wounded guy
6) nice sense of movement...I like the composition..reminds me of the planting of the flag Iwo Jima
7) missed opportunity to really delineate the muscles on the shield holder

G

I like this critique! -- though I still think that monumental quality is independent of all that stuff -- and if it's got that -- all is forgiven.

Here's another multi-figure monument that avoids some of the challenges that that the previous examples have tackled:

1) the figures are pushed up against a wall -- so they don't need 360 degrees of design

2) the figures are presenting themselves for admiration (or pity) rather than involved with each other in some dramatic event.



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...o_uprising.JPG


-- and here's the best kind of tribute a statue can receive:


http://www.orto-da.com/
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