Paper #2 on Sculpture

(Check syllabus for details — pages required, etc.).

As we noted in class, the word “statue” has as its root *sta, and thus means in the root sense something standing. Herbert Read writes in his book The Art of Sculpture that 9/10ths of all sculpture is of the human body.

View the following four statues:

1. Der Gestürzte (The Fallen One), 1915/16, by Wilhelm Lehmbruck

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wilhelm_Lehmbruck_-_Der_Gestürzte.2.jpg

2. Femme qui marche, Walking Woman, 1932 or 1936, by Alberto Giacometti

This is the address but if for some reason is doesn’t work, go to wiki commons   and search for Femme qui marche and Giacometti you’ll find the image from the Tate Museum

3. Reclining Figure, 1951, by Henry Moore

Henry Moore and Reclining Figure 1951

If that link doesn’t work, search the wikimedia commons site you used for the Giacometti image, looking for Henry Moore, Reclining Figure 1951.

Catafalque, 2011, by Sean Henry

http://www.seanhenry.com/sculpture/9465

Take notes as you look carefully at sculptures (the way we have done in class as we try to see exactly what is there).

1.Write down questions that arise as you try to make sense of the sculpture, questions like the following: What kinds of human beings are these? What do you feel as a result of the specific form of the human body? Why did the sculptor depict the human body in this fashion?

2.Use the details from your notes to answer the questions in another set of notes.

3.Repeat this process for the other sculptures.

4.Now write down notes about how the four sculptures are similar. How are they different? Only at this point should you actually start to write your paper. Only now will you have the first ideas that you can turn into an analysis.

Write an essay (about 2 pages, although you may need 3) that compares and contrasts the four representation of the human body. Do not do any secondary research whatsoever for this assignment. We’re not trying to find what others have said about the sculptures. We’re not trying to figure out how the works fit in the context of other sculptures by the same artist. We’re not interested in anything but our own careful analysis. That’s exactly what you’ll get credit for—your own insights based on your own analysis of the statues.

 

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Author: Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/

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