Rare Joan MIRO graphics available

 

Joan Miro (Spain, 1893-1983)

“l’Egyptienne” (D. 970-1977)

Etching, Aquatint And Cut Out Shapes

Paper Size : 48 x 33 in (122 x 84 cm)

Framed Size : 64 x 44 in (163 x 112 cm)

Edition # : HC X / XII

Hand Signed : Pencil Signed Lower Right

Framed with Plexiglass : Black Wood With Bezel 2 1/2 Inches Wide

Purchased from : Dealer in 2004

Provenance : D. 970 in Book 4 of Miro Gravures

Certificate of Authenticity: Walker Fine Art

SOLD

Joan Miro (Spain, 1893-1983)

The Rustics (M. 589) 1969

Lithograph printed on red and white checked cloth backed on Mandeure-Chiffon paper, the full sheet printed to the edges

117.5 x 76.2 cm (46.26 x 30 in)

Signed in pencil, numbered 19/75
Published by Maeght, Paris

PRICE ON REQUEST

CONTACT:
Reed V. Horth
ROBIN RILE FINE ART
Miami, FL USA
www.robinrile.com
reed@robinrile.com
PH: (813) 340-9629
Skype: reed.v.horth
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rvhorth
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Hyperrealist Paintings by Estremadoyro

Estremadoyro (Peru, b. 1955)

The Liberation

Oil on panel, 52.5″ x 42.3″ (unframed dimensions)


Estremadoyro (Peruvian, b. 1955)

Narcissus’ Awakening

Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”

(unframed)

(Shown at Peruvian Consulate, Washington DC, July 2009)

The Painter and the Model.

The Painter and the Model is a project I started to imagine when I lived in Paris. The idea was to create a series, using as a model a girl of Indian origin from Peru; of a different generation, of a social and cultural class opposite to mine, and having the conditions not only physical but mental and spiritual above all, to fulfil this work with me.
I would not have preconceived ideas for the paintings: it would be the paintings and the drawings that should tell the story of this encounter.

The paintings represent the day, the aware and bright side: they would be responsible for telling the ‘official history’. The drawings represent the night, the secret and dark side of this tale: they would be responsible for telling the ‘other story’. But as in life -where there are some days that feels like nights, and some nights that feels like days, it would also be some drawings that will seem like paintings; and even some paintings, that will seem like drawings…
This project is now a work in progress. The whole idea of the series is finished and my work with the girl too. This is a suite of paintings and drawings, which are currently at different stages of completion.

Narcissus Awakening.

The first painting in this series is Narcissus Awakening.
This painting is an allegory; and talks about a moment of grace: the girl that would become my model sees its own image ‘appear’ in the puddle of water. Because this is not a reflection but an apparition, what she sees on the surface of the water. This is not a natural fact, as it would be a reflection, but as the art, this is the result of the whim and will of man. Because this pool and this water represents art: the girl sees her image appearing in my own artwork and, like Narcissus, falls in love. Then she decides to be a model. That’s the reason why this is the first painting of the series. Thus begins this story.
The looming figure, above left, is a Bouguereau’s Cupid. And he comes in the name of the art of painting, for sticking an arrow to the model. But if the Cupid is of this painter, this is not a simple coincidence: our young Indian girl, that didn’t knew nothing of painting or painters, with genuine enthusiasm reviewed all my books and files of paintings. At the end she concluded that the painter of painters was none other than that great French Master… So if she was the model, the Cupid could not be of another painter than William Bouguereau…

Estremadoyro (Peru, b. 1955)

The One (She was)

2006

Pencil on paper, 18.25″ x 22.3″

Estremadoyro (Peru, b. 1955)

Second Sight

2007

Colored Pencil on paper, 18.25″ x 22.3″

 

 

18/LE MONDE/FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 1997 “An extraordinary Peruvian painter.”

In a very formal exhibit, a not so formal painting.

ESTREMADOYRO has lived several years in France. This Peruvian artist of extremely unusual paintings continues, however, not being very well known in our country. Within the setting of the barely-accustomed-to-scandals International Diplomatic Academy (Académie diplomatique internationale), who organizes an exhibition to celebrate its 70th anniversary, he has on display a remarkable work, only one, but it is out of the ordinary and fiercely up to date. Its name is The Eve (La Víspera), and it is nothing less than a depiction of our times, saturated with horrors, and of our memory, saturated with references. There is immense ambition: To restore the great classic peinture d’histoire, and to delve deeply into the theme. To achieve this, Estremadoyro uses simultaneously the realistic pictorial style of effective illusionistic techniques, and pseudo-collages
1 that let him insert fragments of illustrious works: Leonardo, Vermeer, Velázquez. This is how the mental confusion is suggested, the spiritual disorder, and a sort of observant hallucination that captivates you. There are abundant symbols of suffering and oppression, as well as many allusions to contemporary history.
-
TRANSLATION OF AN ARTICLE IN THE DAILY LE MONDE BY ART CRITIC PHILIPPE DAGEN, PUBLISHED BY SAID NEWSPAPER ON JANUARY 3, 1997.


I am a Peruvian painter who for almost thirty years has pursued the same struggle. About 1975, when I was some twenty years old, I understood that modern art was finished and that it was essential to return to the great tradition of the Painting of the Old Masters. But it was one thing to think it, and very much something else to do it: Who could teach me?… No one, apparently. That was the beginning of many years of solitary and misunderstood effort to master the craft. After many failures with oil paint, I decided to concentrate on drawing. From those years are works such as these:

In the decade of the nineties I went to France, invited as a Professor at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, by recommendation of Professor Henry Cueco. Obviously I felt very excited by this invitation. No Peruvian painter had ever had the honour of being a Professor at the school of Ingres and Bouguereau

When I was introduced to the students, they were told that I was a painter who mastered the techniques of Painting that they (the French) had forgotten; hence the reason for my presence at the School. Let me be completely honest, Mr. Ross. Inside me I was saying: “How sad things are! … If we were in the time of Ingres I would be coming here to learn, not to teach”. And with all sincerity I tell you that I would have preferred a thousand times to learn from one of those great masters than to be invited as a Professor. But I can also say that at that point I did not know just how bad everything was. You do know! You say so clearly in your articles and on many other occasions. Teaching art has become a fraud and a deception and, certainly, l’École des Beaux-Arts is no exception. On the contrary. Soon I would come to feel that the School was the saddest place in Paris.

When I wanted to start teaching Painting, they immediately talked me out of it: “This is a school for Artists,” – they advised, “but if you want to teach a scholarly craft, then … allez-y!” Conversely, the students that were interested in learning, were also under intense pressure: “What will they think of us if they see us painting still lifes!” they told me… At the School of Fine Arts it was simply shameful to learn or to teach Painting!

This experience in Paris persuaded me to paint a very large picture of 200 x 300 cm, which I called The Eve on which I worked during four years in a small 4 x 3 m studio in the banlieue of Paris. This painting reflects the anguish I felt as a painter facing the state of affairs of the arts and the society, on the eve of the new century. I was painting the day before, unaware of what tomorrow would be like, although I was sustained by the hope that during the 21st Century, great changes would be forthcoming. The insanity of the 20th Century could not last forever …

Mr. Philippe Dagen, art critic of the daily newspaper Le Monde, and France’s most important art critic at that time, was one of the few who provided me support during that period. Follows a reproduction of the article he published in Le Monde, and its translation into English:

18/LE MONDE/FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 1997

An extraordinary Peruvian painter.

In a very formal exhibit, a not so formal painting.

 

LUIS JOSE ESTREMADOYRO has lived several years in France. This Peruvian artist of extremely unusual paintings continues, however, not being very well known in our country. Within the setting of the barely-accustomed-to-scandals International Diplomatic Academy (Académie diplomatique internationale), who organizes an exhibition to celebrate its 70th anniversary, he has on display a remarkable work, only one, but it is out of the ordinary and fiercely up to date. Its name is The Eve (La Víspera), and it is nothing less than a depiction of our times, saturated with horrors, and of our memory, saturated with references. There is immense ambition: To restore the great classic peinture d’histoire, and to delve deeply into the theme. To achieve this, Estremadoyro uses simultaneously the realistic pictorial style of effective illusionistic techniques, and pseudo-collages1 that let him insert fragments of illustrious works: Leonardo, Vermeer, Velázquez. This is how the mental confusion is suggested, the spiritual disorder, and a sort of observant hallucination that captivates you. There are abundant symbols of suffering and oppression, as well as many allusions to contemporary history.

TRANSLATION OF AN ARTICLE IN THE DAILY LE MONDE BY ART CRITIC PHILIPPE DAGEN, PUBLISHED BY SAID NEWSPAPER ON JANUARY 3, 1997.

Through all that was said above, you can easily visualize the wonderful surprise and intense emotion I felt upon discovering the ARC page and the endeavors you are undertaking. I have written these lines to congratulate you heartily, and to share with you my own experience and my solitary combat for a cause that is common to both of us.

So, I am left with the feeling that finally, and after all, my struggle for the revival of the Arts and Painting is no longer quite as lonely. I now hold more and more hopes that the beginning new century will bring a true transformation on this regard. And that this will be achieved despite the great thunderclouds and anxiety under which this new era is getting started.

I am at your disposal for any project that might contribute toward the achievement of this objective, and I shall look forward with pleasure to your kind response.

Yours very truly,

LJE

 

 

 

 

Estremadoyro (Peruvian, b. 1955)

Narcissus’ Awakening

Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”

(unframed)

$12,500.

(Shown at Peruvian Consulate, Washington DC, July 2009)

The Painter and the Model.

The Painter and the Model is a project I started to imagine when I lived in Paris. The idea was to create a series, using as a model a girl of Indian origin from Peru; of a different generation, of a social and cultural class opposite to mine, and having the conditions not only physical but mental and spiritual above all, to fulfil this work with me.
I would not have preconceived ideas for the paintings: it would be the paintings and the drawings that should tell the story of this encounter.

The paintings represent the day, the aware and bright side: they would be responsible for telling the ‘official history’. The drawings represent the night, the secret and dark side of this tale: they would be responsible for telling the ‘other story’. But as in life -where there are some days that feels like nights, and some nights that feels like days, it would also be some drawings that will seem like paintings; and even some paintings, that will seem like drawings…
This project is now a work in progress. The whole idea of the series is finished and my work with the girl too. This is a suite of paintings and drawings, which are currently at different stages of completion.

Narcissus Awakening.

The first painting in this series is Narcissus Awakening.
This painting is an allegory; and talks about a moment of grace: the girl that would become my model sees its own image ‘appear’ in the puddle of water. Because this is not a reflection but an apparition, what she sees on the surface of the water. This is not a natural fact, as it would be a reflection, but as the art, this is the result of the whim and will of man. Because this pool and this water represents art: the girl sees her image appearing in my own artwork and, like Narcissus, falls in love. Then she decides to be a model. That’s the reason why this is the first painting of the series. Thus begins this story.
The looming figure, above left, is a Bouguereau’s Cupid. And he comes in the name of the art of painting, for sticking an arrow to the model. But if the Cupid is of this painter, this is not a simple coincidence: our young Indian girl, that didn’t knew nothing of painting or painters, with genuine enthusiasm reviewed all my books and files of paintings. At the end she concluded that the painter of painters was none other than that great French Master… So if she was the model, the Cupid could not be of another painter than William Bouguereau…

The Painter and the Model is a true story, which takes place in thirteen paintings and eleven drawings. Soon I’ll begin to publish the first drawings of this series.

Classic Walter Girotto painting located “Cupid’s Temptation”

Walter Girotto (Italian, b. 1953)

“Cupid’s Temptation” (Ref #9710)

original oil and oil pastel crayon on wood,

Dimensions Unframed: 19” x 31”

Dimensions Framed: 27” x 39” (as shown)

Like-new condition with no obvious flaws.

Provenance: Purchased from Collection Privee Gallery directly from Artist (1998).

Stamped and sealed by the artist (Verso- with thumbprint- #G-372)

PRICE: $9,500. USD

(Priced for rapid sale)

Richard MacDonald Bronzes Located

Richard MacDonald “Dance the Dream” (quarter-life-scale) Dims: 23” x 13.5” x 13” bronze edition number #92/175..  Like-new condition with no obvious flaws. Original certification of authenticity from the publisher Richard MacDonald Studios.

Richard MacDonald “The Gymnast: Flair Across America” (third-life-scale) Dims: 34.75” x 13” x 29” bronze edition number #60/150. Like-new condition with no obvious flaws. Original certification of authenticity from the publisher Richard MacDonald Studios.

Richard MacDonald “Penche Monet” (from Royal Ballet Suite) Dims: 39” x 20” x 9” bronze edition of 55. Like-new condition with no obvious flaws. Original certification of authenticity from the publisher Richard MacDonald Studios.

CONTACT: Reed V. Horth
ROBIN RILE FINE ART
Miami, FL USA
www.robinrile.com
reed@robinrile.com
PH: (813) 340-9629
Skype: reed.v.horth
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rvhorth
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robinrile

Salvador Dali & Daum Glassworks Collaborative Sculptures

Since 1878 Daum have been crafting world-renowned beauty in lead crystal using rare and ancient techniques. In 1906 Daum revived pâte de verre (glass paste), an ancient Egyptian method of glass casting, developing the method so that by the 1930s Daum’s window panels used pâte de verre for richness instead of leaded or painted glass. Pate de verre involves making a paste of glass that is applied to the surface of the mold, then fired. The big advantage to pate de verre is that it allows for precise placement of particular glass colors in the mold. Other ways of filling the mold often result in some shifting of glass from where it has been placed prior to firing, but the pate de verre process helps to control this shifting. Today Daum still uses this method to produce their exquisite creations.

 

“Dali’s contribution to the art of glassmaking is dominated by his collaboration with DAUM, which began in the middle of the 1960’s and lasted close to 20 years. From the outset, this collaboration was the fruit of Dali’s excellent personal relations with Jacques Daum, whose great aesthetic merit consisted in accepting without comment Dali’s wildest project models confided to him by the painter during his visits to Cadaques. Like that plastic bottle of oil found by Dali in 1968 stuck between two rocks during one of his hikes through the Cap de Creus: he gave it to Jacques Daum as it was, soiled by tar, and said “You will see, it is very beautiful. It is only necessary to add the snail”, and to choose as its title “L’important c’est la rose” (What is important is the rose). At the beginning of the 80’s it was “Venus de Milo hysterique”. This time Dali didn’t spare the archetypical Greek. Starting with an idea from one of his drawings from the 30s, Femme aux Tiroirs” (Woman with Drawers), he bent the Venus de Milo backwards, as if being ferociously pulled by the hair. The model was in a lamentable rubber, filthy and out of shape and cracked by dryness. Anybody would have thrown it in the garbage without hesitation. Sublimated to the transparency of glass, today these models by Daum are essential objects of surrealism whose incontestable beauty is recognized by all.”

~ – Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, “Le Dur et le Mou” (Catalogue Raisonne of Dali sculpture), Pg. 129.

 

Salvador DALI (1904-1989)
Debris of an Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone (1988)
Green glass paste and bronze from DAUM Glassworks of Nancy, France
Hgt: 44.5cm
Edition of 850
Literature: Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Catalogue Raisonne “Le Dur et Le Mou”, pg. 134, Ref #342

PRICE: on request

 

Salvador DALI (1904-1989)
Antediluvian Phonograph (1980)
Mauve and White glass paste from DAUM Glassworks of Nancy, France
Hgt: 37cm
Edition of 300
Literature: Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Catalogue Raisonne “Le Dur et Le Mou”, pg. 135, Ref #347

PRICE: on request

 

Salvador DALI (1904-1989)
Fleur du Mal (Fleur of Evil- 1968)
Blue glass paste from DAUM Glassworks of Nancy, France (also violet of yellow-green)
Hgt: 37cm

Edition of 150
Literature: Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Catalogue Raisonne “Le Dur et Le Mou”, pg. 130, Ref #326

PRICE: on request

 

Salvador DALI (1904-1989)
Malebranche Fish (1973)
Golden green-yellow glass paste from DAUM Glassworks of Nancy, France
Hgt: 41cm
Edition of 150
Literature: Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Catalogue Raisonne “Le Dur et Le Mou”, pg. 132, Ref #332

PRICE: on request

Salvador DALI (1904-1989)
Venus de Milo with Drawers (1988)
Pale blue glass paste from DAUM Glassworks of Nancy, France
Hgt: 43cm
Edition of 850
Literature: Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Catalogue Raisonne “Le Dur et Le Mou”, pg. 134, Ref #339

PRICE: on request

 

CONTACT:
Reed V. Horth
ROBIN RILE FINE ART
Miami, FL USA
www.robinrile.com
reed@robinrile.com
PH: (813) 340-9629
Skype: reed.v.horth
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/reedhorth
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robinrile

Richard MacDonald “Reclining Nude” female bronze

Richard MacDonald (American, b. 1946)

“Reclining Nude” (1997)

bronze edition, #43/150,

Dims: 24” x 12” x  8.5”.

Provenance: Purchased from Collection Privee, Hyde Park Tampa (2002).

Like-new condition with original certification of authenticity from the Richard MacDonald Studios.

PRICE: SOLD

CONTACT:
Reed V. Horth
ROBIN RILE FINE ART
Miami, FL USA
www.robinrile.com
reed@robinrile.com
PH: (813) 340-9629
Skype: reed.v.horth
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/reedhorth
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robinrile

Richard MacDonald Male Figure: Transcendence: Sasha II

Richard MacDonald (American, b. 1946)
Transcendence: Sasha II
Bronze Edition of 75
54” x 19” x 14” (137cm x 48cm x 36cm)
Appraised Price: $88,000.
PRICE: on request to reed@robinrile.com
One of MacDonald’s most unusual and enigmatic compositions, this work has tended to sell through, and ascend in price every 3 months since issue. At this rate, we have watched the edition sell out in only a few short years. Presently, this work is available at a fantastic savings versus current appraisal value of $88,000.

CONTACT:

Reed V. Horth
ROBIN RILE FINE ART
Miami, FL USA
www.robinrile.com
reed@robinrile.com
PH: (813) 340-9629
Skype: reed.v.horth
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/reedhorth
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robinrile

 

Salvador Dali “Sewing machine with umbrella in surrealistic landscape, 1941

Published the Sunday, December 09, 2012

http://www.lunion.presse.fr/article/autres-actus/1841200-euros-pour-la-machine-a-coudre

Whereas the Pompidou Center presentation Salvador Dali, the house Artcurial has put up for auction this Tuesday, December 4 in Paris, two works of the Spanish artist. The two works are from a private collection. It is a bronze bust painted, the woman-bread, and a table made for a film project of Fritz Lang, the sewing machine.
The woman-bread, a bronze bust painted, achieved 1933 and edited in 1977, was estimated at between 450,000 and 600,000 euros. It is part of the eight copies of which one is exposed in the context of the major retrospective devoted to the painter at the Pompidou Center until March 25. The bust has not found purchaser on Tuesday evening.
Sewing Machine with umbrellas in a surreal landscape (oil and gouache) is date of 1941. The implementation was estimated between 1.6 million and two million euros. Salvador Dali has painted this table in the United States for the film “The barge of love” (Moontide, 1942) by Fritz Lang. Due to a conflict between the Fox and Fritz Lang, the director was replaced by Archie Mayo and the drawings of Dali were ultimately not used. The painter will resume his creations for the cinema in 1945 with “The House of Dr. Edwards” (Spellbound), Alfred Hitchcock, with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. Dali has also worked with Walt Disney for the animated film “Fantasia” (1940).  This composition of Salvador Dali was unprecedented in public sale. She had been acquired directly from the artist by its owner and presented only once to the public at a retrospective exhibition in Shanghai. One of the paradoxes and not the least among Salvador Dali, has been that it has achieved its greatest masterpieces on panels of small sizes: The persistence of the memory of 1931, does that 24 X 33 cm The Portrait of Paul Eluard of 1929, 33 x 25 cm, awarded in 2011 nearly 16,500,000 euros on the international market or well yet the spectre of Vermeer of Delft from 1934, 22 x 17 cm, awarded nearly 1,900,000 euros in 2007 and many others, Dali has su express with a thoroughness unmatched, the power of its visions on panels of modest size like the master of the gothic painting and of the Renaissance. The sewing machine, by all its qualities, both pictorial and intellectual, is part of this set of masterpieces. This gem has found buyers for the sum of 1,841,200 euros.

“Infants of the Same Species”: Washington National Cathedral and Frederick E. Hart

By Reed V. Horth, for CBPMag.com and Robin Rile Fine Art

 

Michelangelo was 24 years old when he completed his “Pietà” in 1499. Oh, if only I were so accomplished by the same age.

Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) installed his most perfect sculpture within the Vatican walls in the dead of night, helped by laborers who refused payment as they felt blessed to place such a masterpiece. Unsigned, Michelangelo later snuck back into the Vatican one evening, chiseling his signature on Mary’s sash after horrifyingly overhearing visitors remark that his “Pieta” was the work of Cristoforo “The Hunchback” Solari.

Uncouth and brash, Michelangelo was the epitome of the Gifted Deviant.

 

For 12 years, I worked in galleries featuring a modern day sculptor whose work garners comparisons (rightly or wrongly) to those of Michelangelo. The artist is named Frederick Elliot Hart (1943-1999). In developing my sales presentation, I discovered that when I mentioned the artist’s monuments, my audience had a hidden familiarity with the artist. The “Three Soldiers” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC was the easiest image to conjure for most of our visitors. This familiarity allowed me to segue into a presentation about the artist which hopefully, would inspire them to own one of his works. The sculpture people were most impressed with during my presentation was the full-sized clay modele for Hart’s “Ex Nihilo” for Washington National Cathedral. The swirling mass of 4 male figures and 4 female figures stopped people in their tracks. If that did not inspire respect, nothing would. Hart was ahead of his time, brash, confident and a rebel in his own right.

In some respects, Hart could be considered an “infant of the same species” as Michelangelo.

 

17 years after my initial introduction to the work of Hart, I finally visited Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC on a pilgrimage to see the subject of so many presentations, speeches, articles and emails, “Ex Nihilo”. As I slid off the bus which took me the short distance from the Red Line Metro station at Tenleytown, twin cathedral spires dawned from behind a tremendous oak tree. The world’s 6th largest cathedral was coming into view in the dewy morning light. As I approached a powerfully-built, but still spritely, docent ushered a group of 7th graders to the West façade. As he began speaking about the cathedral he mentioned Frederick Hart, so I sat down to have a listen. Despite that fact that I  have lectured and written on the subject of Hart for nearly 20 years, there is always something to learn. The docent, who I would come to know later as Andy Bittner, spoke of Hart by the name his friends called him… “Rick”.

Rick, a troubled teen from Atlanta was kicked out of school at 13 but still was able to matriculate to University of South Carolina to continue his studies. When he later marched for civil rights, the Ku Klux Klan took a contract on his life, so he fled to Washington DC, finding a home as the “Mayor of DuPont Circle” due to his ebullient personality and effusive wit. Hearing about Washington National Cathedral and having a burgeoning talent for meeting girls using his skills as a sculptor, he found his way to the same Tenleytown stop I did.

 

(LEFT) Marble statue of George Washington by Lee Lawrie at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

The plan for the Cathedral was originally proposed by George Washington himself on 4 January, 1792, in The Gazette of the United States, Philadelphia. “A church intended for national purposes,” he wrote, “assigned to the special use of no particular sect or denomination, but equally open to all”. While the plans languished until 1891, they were re-purposed and a site was chosen on Reno Hill overlooking the city of Washington. Ground broke in 1907 during a ceremony presided over by President Theodore Roosevelt. The cathedral was metaphorically an “Infant of the same species” compared to the Gothic Cathedrals of Europe which inspired its architecture, theme and detailing. Hart felt an overwhelming sense of spirituality when he walked through the doors for the first time. After a long and deliberate study, he converted to Catholicism shortly thereafter (despite the fact that the Cathedral is Episcopal) . As Tom Wolf described in his posthumous biography of Hart, “The hot-blooded boy’s passion, as Hart developed his vision of the Creation, could not be consummated by Woman alone. He fell in love with God. For Hart, the process began with his at first purely pragmatic research into the biblical story of the Creation in the Book of Genesis. He had been baptized in the Presbyterian Church, and he was working for the Episcopal Church at the Washington National Cathedral. But by the 1970′s, neither of these proper, old-line, in-town Protestant faiths offered the strong wine a boy who was in love with God was looking for. He became a Roman Catholic and began to regard his talent as a charisma, a gift from God. He dedicated his work to the idealization of possibilities God offered man“. (The Artist the Art World Couldn’t See, by Tom Wolfe, New York Times Magazine, January 2, 2000)

 

 

(L to R) Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral (1211-1275) Reims, France Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral (1163-1345) Paris, France Washington National Cathedral (The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul) (1907-1990) Washington DC USA

 

Throughout the 1970’s, Hart labored under the tutelage of the Italian stone-cutting masters Roger Morigi (1908-1995) and the jovial Vincent Palumbo (1936-2000) in the lost style of the ancient stone carvers. (The book “The Stone Carvers” by Marjorie Hunt and corresponding Academy Award-winning documentary highlight their work and enigmatic personalities) A quick glance at most modern buildings will reveal the lack of ornamentation which was hallmark of architecture throughout history and moving into the Beaux-Arts styles of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Since that time, stone has been used less and less in favor of steel, glass and modern materials, thereby decreasing the demand for stone carvers of Hart’s ilk. However, under the tutelage of Morigi and Palumbo, Hart learned of the competition to design the tympanum above the main doors of the Cathedral’s West façade. Hart chose the theme of creation, but not with the same sensitivity of subject as Michelangelo applied in his “God Creating Adam” in the Sistine Chapel. Instead, Hart drew inspiration from the writings of Jesuit philosopher and theologian Pierre Theilhard de Chardin who, in his treatise “The Divine Milieu” posited that “Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire….[and] Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.” Hart’s original maquette called upon several elements in the natural world, fire, rain, stone, wind to create his Adam and his Eve “Ex Nihilo” (Out of Nothing).

 

Birth is a painful process. A fitful sleep, only to reawaken for another moment of creation… Dawn. Hart’s Adam and Eve struggle and writhe in a pullulating morass of tarry elements Hart described as a “primordial cloud”. Though their bodies are partially articulated and powerful, their essence is still formative. Silently, they grasp at dawn through the chaos for formation. Perhaps this is Hart’s allegory for all life.

Hart’s work, bears a spiritual, if not thematic kinship to French master Auguste Rodin’s most important creation, La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell). This is due in part to the fact that both were sculpted in high relief contraposto and consisted of restrained forms in varying forms of activity through a quagmire from which they cannot escape. However, where Rodin’s figures are tortured without hope, Hart’s anguished Adam and Eve seem uplifted and confident. The unified whole, carved by Morigi and Palumbo from Indiana limestone using techniques and division of labor derived from the stone carvers of old, allowed Hart to birth his own renaissance of sorts. His sculpting, combined with the tutelage and expertise of his mentors, made the lost art of stone carving interesting again. Not unlike his sculptural antecedents Michelangelo and Rodin. Hart again proves himself to be an “infant of the same species”.

 

(LEFT) August Rodin (French, 1840-1917) “Adam” (1880-1881), shown in bronze. Portion of composition “La Porte de l'Enfer (The Gates of Hell)”. (LEFT) Frederick E. Hart (American, 1943-1999) “Adam” (1974, cast 2006), shown in bronze. Portion of composition “Ex Nihilo” for Washington National Cathedral

He is the old Adam”, Hart says,

[a] figure emergent from chaos, shaped by the potter’s hand,

the passion and the zenith of creations…

He is also the new Adam, emergent, radiant in light.

He is at once absolutely concrete and absolutely universal.”

 

 

Hart sculpting the full-scale modele with his model Lindy Lain, later Mrs. Frederick Hart posing as the face of Eve

Frederick E. Hart (American, 1943-1999) "Ex Nihilo" (1974-1982) Indiana limestone, Height: 156 inches. Washington National Cathedral, Washington D.C.

 

Our diminutive docent, Irma Stockton, kindly lead a small group of us through the nooks and crannies of the cathedral, pointing out interesting morsels of information on the construction, from the significance of specific windows, bosses and markings, to the belfry where we saw the skeleton of the upper knave arches. She explained that the cathedral was designed in the 14th Century English Gothic style and that it is the highest point in Washington D.C., higher even than the Washington Monument because of its location atop Reno Hill (the highest natural point in the District of Columbia at 409ft above sea level). She led us through the narrow mass with an eight bay knave and six bay transept, pointing out various items of interest in stone, stained glass and wrought iron artistry throughout.

Despite breaking ground in 1907, it was not finished until I was a senior in High School.

After thanking Mrs. Stockton for her time, I reemerged from the Cathedral into the midday light. With this, I too went from a waking sleep into a dawn of my own. Repositioning myself again in front of “Ex Nihilo” I truly gained insights into Hart and the reason for my pilgrimage. The cathedral holds a power and majesty that was not easily summed up in words. Despite its relatively young lineage, its breathtaking scale and impeccable detail reminded me that there were masters of old walking among us. Craftsmanship bordering on the great Renaissance masters is lost on us now, and we are poorer for it with each passing year.

I caught back up with docent Andy Bittner and introduced myself. He took a few moments to impart some of the stories previously mentioned as well as his own formative years at the Cathedral, first as a wayward and free-thinking youth seeking the meaning of life, then later as a patron and docent. In his laid-back, but friendly and enthusiastic drawl, he conveyed that his adventuresome youth was spent exploring nooks and crannies of the magical structure as his parents lived and worked in the greater DC area. (In fact, his father was the “tenor drummer in the Washington Scottish Bagpipe Band, who played in the annual Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan service (the blessing of the Scottish clans in America)” at the Cathedral. After several years of self-described “adventurous, but limiting, decisions“, he returned to its hallowed halls and had a life-altering epiphany. Just as Hart before him, he dedicated his life to the Cathedral and its history. Andy was kind enough to share a broad spectrum of stories, from bona fide miracles, to mysterious coincidences and the humorous deviancy the masons and stone carvers caused in their decades working at the Cathedral. Anecdotally he explained one of the most deviant characteristics of the exterior structure was a protuberant bust of Darth Vader which adorns the Northwest tower. A competition amongst schoolchildren in the 1980’s to design gargoyles for the Cathedral yielded a winning design of the Star Wars villain. The design was then sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter and carved in Indiana limestone by Patrick J. Plunkett.

 

The Star Wars Villain on the Northwest Tower. Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral.

Perhaps it was Andy’s encyclopedic knowledge of the structure or a truly divine moment which inspired him to become a permanent fixture at the Cathedral. Perhaps it was more. One common thread struck me as I listened to Andy speak about the Cathedral; that of deviants finding their way. After all, Andy did. So did Michelangelo and Rodin. So did Hart. To some extent, so did I. Is this what Andy meant by “infants of the same species”? Perhaps. Perhaps it is because this structure was, as Washington himself intended, “equally open to all”.

Including we deviants.

The author and "Ex Nihilo" at Washington National Cathedral, August 2013.

 

FOOTNOTE: Of the many stories Andy Bittner conveyed during our discussions, one series resonated. On 23 August, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Washington D.C. area causing significant damage to the Cathedral and its varied structures. On 26 August Hurricane Irene further exacerbated efforts to shore up the structure and caused further damage to the cathedral. On September 7, 2011 a 350 foot crane working to shore up the Cathedral in light of the recent damage, collapsed. Days later, on 11 September, 2011, was to be the 10th Anniversary memorial of the September 11th attacks in Washington and New York. President Barack Obama as well as many heads of state, Senators, Secretaries, dignitaries and heads different religions from around the world were to converge on Washington National Cathedral on that date. Security around D.C. was airtight, but threats were always rampant and fears remained high. Andy maintains that these “Acts of God” served as a warning. The memorial was moved to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Despite an extended series of dramatic disasters, no one was egregiously hurt. No villainy took place. Perhaps, he thought, this is BEST example of God’s benevolence.

Several damaged or fallen spires and gargoyles from the exterior façade.

For more on the restoration efforts ongoing at the Cathedral, please see http://www.nationalcathedral.org/dcquake/

 

Reed V. Horth, is the president, curator and writer for ROBIN RILE FINE ART in Miami, FL. He has been a private dealer, gallerist and blogger since 1996, specializing in 20th century and contemporary masters. www.robinrile.com

All content ©2014 ROBIN RILE FINE ART. Any unauthorized reproduction of images, text or content is strictly prohibited.

Cross of the Millennium (1/3- life-scale) by Frederick E. Hart

Frederick Elliot HART (1943-1999)

Cross of the Millennium

Medium      Lucite

Sizes       H 30.5 in

Date of creation 1992

Subject     religion

Movement/period   20th Century Romanticism

Signature   YES

Authentication certificate    YES

Price: on request.

Unveiled at the Easter Sunrise service at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992. One presented to Pope John Paul II in 1996. Arguably Hart’s most important work. Edition of 175.

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