TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT February 1983

STATUARY VERSUS IDOLS

THE DESIRE TO SCULPT IN full relief, to elaborate a vertical monolith as a statue, raises the question of what had originally forbidden this desire. What is the origin and nature of the opposition to image? A full understanding of the way in which Modernism carried on a certain iconoclasm benefits from an examination of the biblical treatment of statues, or, more accurately, the question of idols. Here lies the root of a form of puritanical censorship in the formalist reduction of sculpture to its own problematic. The dramatic conflict inherent in becoming a Modern sculptor has been extraordinarily expressed by David Smith in various interviews and in his work itself (Puritan Landscape, 1946, Spectre of Mother, 1946).

It was with the birth of monotheism that the statues worshipped by the cults of idols were destroyed. Everyone who worshipped an idol, everything linked to magic, to superstition,

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