Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Degas sculptures

There are only four complete collections of the bronze sculptures of Edouard Degas in the world. One is owned by the Museum of Sao Paoulo, Brazil, and it is touring, with a stop in Milwaukee at the Art Museum. The only one of Degas' sculptures that was cast during his lifetime was the "Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen," which is familiar to most students of art. The others are all smaller studies, cast at his heirs' direction from wax figures found in Degas' studio. These figures are the three-dimensional equivalent of a sketchbook, and include horses, bathers, and many dancers, often with several variations of the same pose as the artist worked out the dynamics and statics of captured action. The figures are beautiful in form and proportion, although they are rough in finish with little fine detail. Georgie speculated it would be possible to retrieve Degas' fingerprints from the wax impressions. The show is subtly fascinating since it is rare to see such an exposition of the artist ar work in any medium, let alone in three dimensions.

The other featured exhibit at Milwaukee Art Museum is the work of the late Mark Lombardi. Called "Global Networks" Lombardi's pieces are intricate and beautiful graphical diagrams showing the multi-dimensional connections of influence in everything from the Chicago Mob of Capone's time to the present day, to the machinations involving George W. Bush's Harkin Energy. These are fascinating and enlightening presentations that make the web of international money flow instantly comprehensible. One wishes Lombardi were still around: the diagrams surrounding the Iraq war alone would be great works of art.

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