New York

Hugo Robus

Forum Gallery

The sculpture of Hugo Robus (American, 1885–1964) is not very good and does little more than clarify conclusions about Nadelman, and increase appreciation of him. Both are involved with the idea of modernizing figurative sculpture but the difference is not just great, it is infinite. In Robus’ case “stream lining” is a literary device. Water Carrier, for example, is a female figure with a jar for a head. Robus’ figures are not abbreviated, they are amputated. Other pieces depict serious universal themes and are titled Maternal, Figure in Grief, Despair. They look as if Keene, the creator of those big-eyed children, had switched to sculpture. A couple of marble figures, Black Bottom and The Splits, are livelier if only because more athletic, but in general Robus is never modern, only moderne. His work is snagged on bombast, sculptural and emotional clichés, and a period, Art Déco look, all

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