The Male Nude
Arno Breker (1900-1991)
Whatever happened to the free-standing male nude ?
Camille Paglia tells us that it was
all about homoeroticism
back when the Greeks began the genre
and then when the Florentines
revived it 2000 years later.
it was a big deal for the National Socialists,
but since that time,
it's been in something of a decline.
Most figure sculpture offers
the warmth and soft comfort
of the female body.
Marcello Tommasi (1928-2008)
Although, I just discovered this great sculptor
who just died a few months ago.
a view that would have
brought a tear
to Socrates' eye
Per Ung (born 1933)
while this northern sculptor
continues the tradition
(so well exemplified
by the crucifixions of Christ)
Nilda Maria Comas (born about 1950)
Now, let's look at the post-war generation
which had to swim upstream
against the artworld.
Here's one of Tommasi's students
who's a little more erotic about it,
where the figure's manhood
is like a ripe fruit
ready to be plucked.
(actually -- this Puerto Rican woman
has studied with many sculptors
working in Italy)
Here's the American, Sabin Howard,
although, like Richard McDonald,
his work is just a bit
too ugly for me.
I don't feel like either one
has even begun to compose.
and the young German/Italian
It's not erotic, suffering, or ugly.
I guess he's going for stately, Classical
like an earlier German/Italian,
Adolph Von Hildebrand
But I wish both of them
felt a little more powerful,
and a little less academic.
like this piece
by Pier Pander (1865-1919)
I'm not sure,
but I think it was designed for
the temple that he envisioned as his legacy,
with standing male figures that represent:
Soul, thought, disorder, courage/strength.
The temple was built after his death,
and is now the Pier Pander Museum which
has the best sculpture website that I've ever seen.
Most single-artist museums show only a picture or two
but this one covers the complete collection,
with zooms on every piece and 360 degree views on several of them.
Pier Pander would be the equal of Maillol,
except that he made so many
portraits of children that hover
on the brink of sentimental,