PRINT January 1964

Work In Progress

ONE OF THE MOST IMPOSING SCULPTURES displayed in the recent Kaiser Center rooftop exhibition was a large ceramic “wall” by Harold Paris. That wall was the point of departure for, and real beginning of, Wall Three which was built during September. The ideas for Wall Three crystallized as Paris sketched images on a large litho stone. With the satisfying resolution of his idea-sketches, he felt confident enough to buy three tons of clay and set to work. A blank wall, seventeen feet long and eight feet high, was literally thrown up a handful at a time. The same feeling for form as captured in the lithograph sketch was then expressed in crisply drawn images incised into the wall blank. These images were built upon, and grew out from the wall plane to distances up to four feet. When working in a plastic medium such as clay or wax, Paris puts everything he has into his initial involvement in the material—he never goes back into a form to change or refine it. When his primary ideas became manifest in the wet clay, he stopped working and called the wall finished. Wall Three, as seen here, took a week of building to become finished. Paris intends to use an additional three tons of clay to build forms which shall occupy the space in front of the wall. The question most frequently asked of the sculptor about Wall Three has been, “Who is it for?” His answer has been “For myself.”

Joseph Pugliese