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Manuel Neri, Bull Jumper III, 1989, plaster, pigment, steel, Styrofoam, burlap, 30 1⁄4 x 42 x 21 1⁄2".

Manuel Neri

Yale University Art Gallery

Manuel Neri, Bull Jumper III, 1989, plaster, pigment, steel, Styrofoam, burlap, 30 1⁄4 x 42 x 21 1⁄2".

Most of the works in Manuel Neri’s exhibition “The Human Figure in Plaster and on Paper” feel as if they were made yesterday. This is partly because outgoing Yale University Art Gallery director Jock Reynolds—who has known the accomplished Bay Area octogenarian since his own student days in the art department at the University of California, Santa Cruz—has displayed sculptures executed in plaster rather than marble or bronze as well as works on paper made in sketch sessions involving a model. Reynolds’s decision to rest the faceless figures, replete with gouged surfaces, directly on the floor, and to leave the drawings unframed also enhances their freshness, despite some works being more than fifty years old.

All told, the well-lit, spacious installation features eight works on paper, three sketchbooks, and twenty-nine heads, figures, and wall reliefs, all executed between

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