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Old 06-19-2004, 10:26 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Moore, Marini, et al

Originally Posted by ironman
Hi Fritchie, I think your right about ending this realist VS abstract thread but I would like to say something about Moore & Marini. I'll preface this by saying that we can only look at and appreciate work from our own perspective. A 20, 30 or even a 40 year old person isn't going to see the same thing as my 57 year old eyes and mind see them. I find Moore's work too awkward, his limbs too much like a gumbie figure. Of course gumbie wasn't around when he did his work otherwise I think his critical eye might have said "I've got to change that, it's too gumbieish!" I also find his figurative work to be too much of a stylization which is what students do as a transitional phase into the understanding of abstraction. Here again Moore (Nadelman also) could only come from their time and their work is to me probably a reaction to Rodin. But what really turned me off to Moore was a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of art in NY. One piece in particular, a mother & child was just so offensive to me that I just couldn't believe that a sculptor of his stature could let it out of his studio. It looked as if the mother & child were done separately and then just stuck together. Scale and size were just all wrong and the piece didn't work (to me) at all. I also find his work too sullen, morose or somber, take your pick. Marini on the other hand although he did many many horse & rider pieces expresses humor and a joie de vivre, you smile when you look at them. In the late 80's I could have bought one from a gallery in Manhattan for only about $2 million. Ah, missed my chance!, and when the judge asked me why I robbed the banks I'd just answer "well your honor, there was this Marini sculpture.........". C U later, Jeff

Jeff - Iím continuing this Moore - Marini, etc. commentary in a new ďFigurativeĒ thread, as Russ finally and properly closed the earlier one.

I admit to probably never having seen a Marini in person, though Iíve seen lots in art books and mags over the years. On the other hand, I have seen quite few Mooreís in person, locally in New Orleans, in NYC I think, in London at the Albert probably, before there was a Tate, and again at the Tate, plus elsewhere. Iím 65+, so Iím of your vintage or better, and I do agree that age, nationality, regionality, educational and cultural background, and many other factors go into evaluating art.

However, on the gumbie issue, Henry Moore actually may have been the inspiration for this character. He has had many followers and even imitators over the years, but none are to my eye as good as the original.

I am less enchanted with his colossal nonobjective stone piece in front of the East Wing of the National Gallery in DC, which I have seen in person, and with another in a similar vein in front of the UNís Childrenís (UNICEF)? Headquarters in Paris, which I have seen only in pictures.

But someone this prolific isnít necessarily perfect all the time. I listen to classical music programs frequently, and Beethoven is criticized from time to time as having published some clunky pieces. However, he was a selfmade figure, born the son of a barkeep who made him entertain customers during his early teen years, so he had to make a living early on, so to speak, and didnít have the advantage of say, Mendelsonís or Mozartís upbringing.

Last edited by fritchie : 06-19-2004 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 06-20-2004, 10:02 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Moore, Marini, et al

[quote]However, on the gumbie issue, Henry Moore actually may have been the inspiration for this character.
Hi Fritchie, I had to laugh when I read that, never crossed my mind and I'll bet Moore's rolling over in his grave at the thought. How ironic is that! He's the inspiration for gumbie and then I criticize his figures for being too gumbieish! Actually, one of my sculpture teachers used to say to the students, "What are you making, a gumbie figure, there's no feeling of bone structure in those arms."
I don't care how prolific an artist is, I think that a critical eye is needed before letting the work out into the light of day. I had an acquaintance once who showed EVERYTHING that he did and although that may help the public understand the process better, my thought was "how could he show that?" and I think it affected his reputation. Of course just like in a garage sale, one mans trash is another mans treasure. I've done my share of "stinkers" over the years but usually consign them to the scrap pile. Hey, but that's me, and I try to keep a very critical eye on and control over what leaves my studio.
Have a nice day, Jeff
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Old 06-20-2004, 02:47 PM
jwebb jwebb is offline
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Re: Moore, Marini, et al

I consider Moore a giant. He opened up sculpture to a whole new way of seeing Nature and the workings of processes which inform "naturally occurring" forms like bones and worn surfaces and grown shapes, and surfaces worked with tools, in addition to the earlier-ok subject matter for Sculpture. There are now many umpteenth casts of 3rd rate Moores on prominent display all over the place now. But that's not his doing. Marini, I think, was much more limited in his scope. Nearly pathologically so when it came to the figure ahorseback. But I love his craftsmanship. As a side note, one thing he did was, after a bronze casting was completely cleaned and sandblasted down to bare metal, he would apply his patinas very carefully - and then, on some pieces, add back crusty areas of what appears to be mold material but is really not - to give the impression that the casting is right out of the mold. That shows a wird kind of love for the process, I think, and also an appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of "accident" resulting from processes. That was way ahead of its time.
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