Santa Barbara

Jacques Schnier

Schnier abandoned the figurative, representational approach some years back when he concluded that the reliance on nature objects was too limited. He is now more involved in the basic abstract vocabulary of sculpture; volume, line, balance, opposition, repetition, and the manipulation of mass in space. The mood that emerges from this approach varies from the gentle to the destructive. The orchestration of his chosen theme is disciplined but endless in its variations.

Schnier is a professor in the art department of the University of California at Berkeley. He is a California artist and a graduate of Stanford University where he received his degree in civil engineering.

He has recently employed a modern version of the lost wax process in his casting. Instead of wax, he uses thin members of styrofoam which are packed in foundry sand. Molten bronze is then poured directly on to these patterns, vaporizes them and fills the resulting cavities. Most of the sculptures in the present show are cast bronze. There is one beautiful wood piece, Eternal Sanctuary, (1960), which is a handsome configuration carved directly from a solid wooden block of Koa. Cenotaph, is a simple empty tomb form with Persian embellishments: it holds an air of mystery and antiquity. Most of his pieces achieve unity, strength and character, but some are uneven in quality and not so steady in concept.

Harriette Von Breton