Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sculpture at St. Hyacinth

I spent the afternoon of Holy Saturday
biking over to St. Hyacinth
to see the sculpture
recently installed on the outside.

John Paul II
visited the church
during his trip to Chicago,
so a statue was commissioned
to commemorate the event.

The name of sculptor is Czesław Dźwigaj
(don't ask me to pronounce it)
who is something of a specialist
in the genre.

Here's the version he made for Krakow,
but as you might notice,
the one sent to Chicago
is not quite as sensitively done.

It feels a bit crude
and unfinished.

The same sculptor
(or his workship)
was also responsible
for three sets of bronze doors
that open from the basilica
onto the street outside.

And I like everything about them

..except for how they look.

i.e. -- I like the subject,
the style,
the artist,
and the very fact
that a modern congregation
has undertaken
such an ambitious
sculptural program.

But the problem is,
that good sculpture takes time.

Ghiberti spent 20 years
on the doors for the Florence Baptistery,
and I really doubt that
six months were spent modeling these,
and the foundry probably got paid
more than the sculptors.

Nobody could afford that much time,
so the results feel engergetic and sincere,
but also awkward and clumsy.