Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hopeless beyond Redemption

"Most of us think of modern Italian sculpture as
hopeless beyond redemption.
We recall the plastic jokes, the brazen indecencies,
the chiseled vulgarities
. . . . . we shudder at memories of the Campo Santa of Genoa
and of recent monuments all over Italy,
and we dismiss the subject."

"Biondi's Saturnalia epitomized cruelly. but not unjustly,
the trend of contemporary sculpture in Italy,
with all its misplaced effort and its incredible,
if not to say fiendish, dexterity."

"This disgustingly facile performance seemed to this writer
like a kind of 'wake' over the corpse of a once noble national art
which once produced the Augustus and later
the Saint George and the Moses;
which has long been dead but which men refuse to bury."

Some hard words from Loredo Taft,
lovingly quoted by Carptrash
my favorite "Scholar without portfolio"

(who seems to have finally tired of getting edited
by the school children of Wikipedia)

Meanwhile, these wonderful photos
have been lifted from this great blog

The piece was made in 1899,
and seems to have been controversial
ever since.

This copy in Buenos Aires was removed from public display
during a period of political repression,
but now has been re-installed in a botanical garden.

Which is just where it belongs!
(hopefully to become partially overgrown
with surrounding vegetation)

It's somewhere between great sculpture
and a theme-park display.

(like the sculpture-sex -park on Cheju Island)

(and I can see how it appealed to the animation artist
who took these photos.)


Anonymous marly said...

Oh, I have missed your orneriness! Breaks from blogging mean being awfully behind on the wisdom of Mount Shang. I'm still on break (till after the arduous heaps of company--12 for graduation!), just came for a quick peek.

Vines? What sort, I wonder--maybe a torrent of mandevilla, with blossoms festoon their ears.

June 03, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Even when you're not making comments, Marly -- I'm always imagining you as the reader to which my orneriness is being addressed.

My comment about vegetation -- actually refers to my own backyard -- where I've installed many sculptures - and watched with wonder (as pleasure) as they've been enveloped with greenery.

June 03, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Let's see the backyard Chris.

June 04, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Ah, thank you, Chris--

I am honored to be the recipient of orneriness... After going through your mourning posts, I wandered through a gallery and came back here... And I think we would like to see that mix of figures and greenery. The only sculptural things in my garden are a giant abandoned urn, a tumbled stone wall, a fairy table, and a wire gazebo that is staggering under a few golden hops and an infinite number of Dutchman's pipes and heart-shaped leaves.

Good cheer, Chris, despite everything--


July 22, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Festooning, it should have been!

What carelessness in the precincts of Mount Shang!

July 22, 2008  

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