Boston

Harold Tovish

Alpha Gallery

Harold Tovish is considered one of Boston’s most accomplished sculptors, yet this was his first major gallery exhibition in 13 years. Certain highly gifted postwar sculptors, among them Tovish, found themselves in a historical predicament mistakenly interpreted as a failure of talent. Trained in an academic figurative mode, they were mismatched with an art world hostile to naturalistic realism. The figure’s status throughout the ’50s, ’60s, and early ’70s reads like a premature obituary: challenged by Abstract Expressionism, cynically re-appropriated in Pop art, and negated by Minimalism and Conceptualism, it was largely defined by its absence.

Tovish has employed a number of strategic responses in an attempt to reintegrate the figure into modern sculpture, only recently, at age 64, achieving a viable synthesis, a riveting body of work in which the figure acts as an authentic vehicle for

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1986 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.