The Marble Torso
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This work, created in Paris in 1989, was among the very first of the fragmented, or partial figures that have become the distinctive trait of the artist’s oeuvre. All that remains is the heart and spirit held beneath the polished surface of stone.
The figure has been reduced to render it as simle as possible. Reminiscent of a fragment of history as well as anatomy, the marble particularly favoured the subtractive process. The work suggests the discovery of the inner mystery held within an abstract form created from a representation of man himself. This work was among the first of the fragmented, or partial figures, that the artist created in his Paris studio and demonstrates the influence of classical sculpture found in that city.
Although the human figure is beautiful, it can also be seen as a “carcass” as one might imagine a large quarter of beef. Although it was not evident to me at the time, this work was the beginning of a long history of creating partial figures and “de-sculpting” the figure, as became apparent in the Fragment series of work created in the early 2000s.