Pittsburgh

Thaddeus Mosley

Carnegie Museum of Art

The sculpture of Thaddeus Mosley, a self-taught black artist, seems to emerge from the heroic days of early Modernism. This is unsurprising—Mosley began to sculpt during the ’50s after being inspired by art he read about and saw at the Carnegie Museum. Sources that became and remain central to his work are Constantin Brancusi, Isamu Noguchi, and a number of anonymous African (and African-American) artists. These sculptors, Mosley notes, “are important to me because they confirm and extend what I do.” Brancusi’s work, he points out, developed in a similar fashion, absorbing African influences that brought out some aspect of his own inner being.

Mosley’s approach to his materials complements his conception of the nature of artistic influence: “My woods and stones and I generate themes together.” In practice, this involves a process of carving based on the Modernist precept that truth to

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