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Wonderful example of subtle portrait sculpture

 
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Stuart



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 834

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Wonderful example of subtle portrait sculpture Reply with quote

World War II heroine Circa 1944. Karen Neman was commissioned to make a one and a half times life-size head and shoulders of this SOE heroine. There are very few surviving photos of her, just a few indistinct, smiling family snaps and two or three glamorous studio photos. The portrait bronze has been installed outside Lambeth Palace, on the Albert Embankment of the River Thames, facing The Houses of Parliament, in central London.
This portrait of the WW2 heroinne, Violette Szabo, is to be uveiled at the Souh Bank of London by the Mayor of Wandsworth on Sunday and will be attended by Members of the Special Forces Club of Gt Britain amongst others.
I think it is a wonderful example of subtle portrait sculpture.
Stuart

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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 1223
Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has always been my favorite piece of hers. Thanks for bringing it to light here Stuart and so glad she is finally getting recognition for this fine work.
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yikes, I stand corrected. Poor gal is NOT getting the recognition she deserves for this lovely monument.
Here is another view of the original work in which the bottom was left open as is done with many a portrait and I think is a really nice look. Apparently this client from hell had the back redone, patina redone, and had her name physically removed from the piece. To top it off banned her from attending the unveiling ceremony of the monument and threatened her in no uncertain terms if she attempted to show her face there!
I think I would have been tempted to show up with a full news crew. Makes me never want to take on a commission at all to hear about these types of experiences from such gifted artists. There's something to be said for sculpting as a hobby!


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Heidi Maiers
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Joel Levinson



Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 111
Location: Long Branch, New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Monument Reply with quote

Heidi,
Do you have any idea about the back story regarding this commission which would cause this type of hostilility and rejection of the sculptor?

Joel
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine how it got so out of hand, but like any other business transaction, some can just go sour, then it's a downhill ride from there. There's a long story here, but as it's looking like legal proceedings pending, best not to go into any detail about it on a public forum.
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Heidi Maiers
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Stuart



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 834

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject: Integrity Reply with quote

Enough to say that the guy attempted to interfere from the start form a position of no knowledge. He seems to have had a peculiar need to deify this most excellent person beyond that of the subject herself and the extraordinary ability of the sculptor concerned and in ways that had nothing to do with her person and countenance. Relationships became worse and worse.
It is amazing that the work achieved such beauty and presence despite the badgering and threats of the person concerned.

I've known Karen for more than 2 decades and her personal and artistic integrity are beyond reproach. I believe she is one of the leading portrait sculptors in the UK today.
The daughter of this WW2 heroine fully supports Karen's position over this whole debacle.
Stuart

Sculptor Beware!
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Joel Levinson



Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 111
Location: Long Branch, New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: portrait Reply with quote

Heidi,Stuart...
Thank you for your replies.All that and all a sculptor wants to do is sculpt......

Joel
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Tamara



Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 954
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How awful to have something go so bad surrounding such a beautiful piece of art. This is my absolute favorite of hers as well. I love the name "Violette" as well, which I know is the subjects real name. I just love that unique, old fashioned name and I love the color!

This sculpture is one that I look at when I want to think of doing something that combines accurate and spot on modeling with loose texturing. I love how she has texture under the eyes and on the lips which soften them. To have tight modeling softened with blurred texturing is a wonderful touch. The hair is outstanding. The movement and feel of the hair is demonstrated in such a fresh artistic way. The hairline is blended and obscured.

Her face is soft with puffy flesh in all the right places almost like you could touch it and feel her youth. Definitely this is one of my favorite sculptures ever.

Thanks Stuart for sharing it. I don't know Karen but anyone that can create this kind of beauty and softness has to have a good heart that wouldn't intentionally mean harm. Sometimes you can just look at the art of someone and it says so much as to their personality. She must be a wonderful lady and I'm wish this hadn't happened to her. Hopefully she's reading what we've written and feels supported. Smile

~Tamara
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Jeni Westcott



Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 57
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stuart - I saw the unveiling of this on the UK news and thought it was bizarre they didn't mention the sculpturer at all- more like it was a commodity than art - it annoyed me a bit- for artists generally and especially for Karen after what you had said. I know Art should stand up in itself as a finished piece -but if there is no explanation of the process, both intellectual and technical, I'm not sure your average layperson has any awareness that it is not "produced by a machine in taiwan" or just is ... I think it is truly beautiful!!
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Lori



Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 264
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this image, Stuart....it's really very lovely. There are just some images you want to look at over and over, this is one.
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Lori Kiplinger Pandy
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http://lorikiplingerpandy.blogspot.com/
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