Friday, December 05, 2008

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.

More recently,
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
of suffering
(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
Leonardo Lustig.

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,
collector-plate drivel.





6 Comments:

Anonymous Bill said...

Weird surface on the arm severance on the Comas.

December 06, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

I noticed that, too.

December 06, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

I have taken on board the various comments you have made about Male/ female sculpture especially over the Michelangelo discussion with 100swallows.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=35899551&postID=7481629981389726778

Looking at your own work I notice that you are able without any doubt to distinguish the very essences of gender in sculptural form. (Pompous way of putting it!)
http://www.ilovefiguresculpture.com/cjm/cjm2004/cjm2004.htm

Thank you for posting all these up, they are useful as is your 20th/21st C Figure site to any working sculptor who needs reference points beyond the well trodden ones.
http://www.ilovefiguresculpture.com/masters/masters20.html

My “Daphnis and Chloe” is advancing at high speed now that my big work is complete. Doing the two genders together somehow emphasises “La difference” especially if they are facing the same way!

Erik brought Pier Pander to my notice a couple of years ago, the web site is much advanced since then.

The Lustig work is a useful study in that for me it is the most likely shape of most of us at one time! (Is he holding entrails?

Comas is probably “wishful thinking”! (for the female gaze!)

Ung has some work which I admire greatly and his site is well worth a visit.

Tommasi I had forgotten and I will look again.

Howard's gives me the creeps, though no doubt well executed!

Great post Chris. More please!

December 13, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Yes -- why is Lustig's naked man carrying an armful of tripe? Some very curious iconography, indeed.

Glad you liked the picture show, Robert.

I can't wait to see your Daphnis/Chloe -- and hopefully more additions to your blog on UK sculptors.

December 14, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Yes -- why is Lustig's naked man carrying an armful of tripe? Some very curious iconography, indeed.

Glad you liked the picture show, Robert.

I can't wait to see your Daphnis/Chloe -- and hopefully more additions to your blog on UK sculptors.

December 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where'd you find that Howard sculpture.. It's amazing?

March 13, 2010  

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