Alan LeQuire: Cultural Heroes
January 23, 2009 – May 31, 2009
On Exhibit in the Art Gallery at the Main Library
One of my favorite places is the Cluny Museum in Paris. Inside are displayed the heads of the kings of France which were broken off the facade of Notre Dame during the French Revolution and rediscovered during the 1970s. These larger-than-life stone heads are so beautiful and are displayed in such an ethereal setting that they continue to affect me now, years after I first encountered them.
I wanted to create something myself which would have a similar effect and presence. I am not interested in mythological subject matter, but instead, real people whose art succeeded despite obstacles. I began to compile a list of personal artist role models.
These are the first of five on an ongoing series of colossal portrait heads, which I call Cultural Heroes. I experimented with various ways of handling the material (clay), always with the intent to make the material and its treatment at least as important as the subject matter.
The six people currently represented in the sculptures so far are Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Leadbelly, Paul Robeson, Marion Anderson and Woody Guthrie.
Pictured below are photos of two sculptures from the exhibit Cultural Heroes.