When sculptors represent the functional object on a one-to-one scale, does the sculpture become that object?
This talk will examine this question through a discussion of Harry Bates’s Pandora (1890) and Scott Burton’s Bronze Chair (1975).
If a central anxiety for modern sculpture has been that it is sometimes indistinguishable from everyday objects or spaces, then how do assertively representational and realist sculptures – like the Pandora or the Bronze Chair – propose to overcome the assumed opposition between literalism and representation, between image and object?
Tracking this question across the history of modern sculpture allows for a different understanding of nineteenth-century sculpture’s art-theoretical complexity to emerge.
About the speaker
David J. Getsy is the author of Queer Behavior: Scott Burton and Performance Art (2022), Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender (2015/2023), Rodin: Sex an the Making of Modern Sculpture (2010), and Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905 (2004).
He teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is the Eleanor Shea Professor of Art History.