new-york

Judith Shea

Curt Marcus Gallery

Judith Shea is one of a key group of younger American artists who have been exploring the humanistic foundations of sculpture, which lie in the figurative tradition, without resorting to either a slavish imitation of or a radical break with the past. In Between Thought and Feeling, 1988, she succeeds in reinvesting the lap, one of the oldest structures in figurative sculpture, with genuine symbolic weight. Here a bronze sculpture of a headless and armless female figure clad in a tight-fitting sheath sits on a large cast-stone cube, and on her lap is a large bronze bust of a man’s head. The poignant look on the face, with its somewhat Hellenistic features, suggests the anguish of death. It recalls the votive figures of the dead in many cultures, shown holding in their laps the part of themselves that it was hoped would survive the end of earthly existence and would pass into a spiritual

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