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Modern Sculpture

A woman’s face and neck are roughly modeled in this dark green, freestanding bronze sculpture. In this photograph, her face is angled to our right. She looks down, chin tucked back into her neck. She has deep-set eye sockets, a thin, blade-sharp nose, and her small mouth is closed, the corners downturned. Light from our left gleams off some of the surfaces, especially in the choppy hair and along the edge of her nose. A long diagonal ridge on the right side of her neck, our left, suggests a tendon stretching as she turns her head. Her neck acts as the sculpture's base. The background lightens from pale gray along the top to white along the bottom, where the sculpture casts a faint shadow to our right.

Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973, Head of a Woman (Fernande), model 1909, cast before 1932, bronze, Patrons' Permanent Fund and Gift of Mitchell P. Rales © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2002.1.1

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Raymond Duchamp-Villon, French, 1876 - 1918, Torso of a Young Man, 1910, bronze, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1971.66.12

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Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884 - 1920, Head of a Woman, 1910/1911, limestone, Chester Dale Collection 1963.10.241

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A man bows his bald head deeply as he rests his splayed elbows on his thighs in this freestanding plaster sculpture. The long toes of the man’s feet nearly touch, and they are angled to our right in this photograph. He sits on a low surface, also sculpted from plaster, and his long limbs create a cage around his hollowed chest. The surface of the plaster is ivory white in some areas and parchment brown in others. The piece rests on a gray pedestal against gray walls.

Wilhelm Lehmbruck, German, 1881 - 1919, Seated Youth, 1917, composite tinted plaster, Andrew W. Mellon Fund 1974.49.1

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The top half of this abstract sculpture is made up of a vertical, elongated form carved from white marble that swells gently at the center and tapers to a point at either end. Near the bottom point, the form flares out slightly to make a tall, conical foot. This sits atop a base made of three stacked pieces that together are about the same height as the swelling form. First, just below the elongated form, a short cylinder sits on the center of a piece that would look like a plus sign if viewed from above. Both the cylinder and plus-sign are carved from cream-colored stone, so are a little darker than the whiter, swelling form above. The tall, dark brown wooden base below is carved in a shape like an angular hourglass.

Constantin Brancusi, Romanian, 1876 - 1957, Bird in Space, 1925, marble, stone, and wood, Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 1967.13.3

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This sculpture is made up of ten shapes connected with rigid, straight brown wire to create an interlocking, web-like formation that rests on the floor. Five of the shapes appear to be raw wood and the other five are painted. Four of the painted shapes are dark gray. The fifth painted piece, at the upper left in this photograph, has a wooden cone-shaped tip pointing downward beneath a black and white mid-section, and an angular, hourglass-shaped tail painted in triangular blocks of red, blue, and black. The other wooden and painted shapes range in size and form, with an almond-shaped piece at the center, rounded pieces throughout, and two rounded hour-glass shaped pieces near the upper left.

Alexander Calder, American, 1898 - 1976, Vertical Constellation with Bomb, 1943, painted steel wire, painted wood, and wood, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls © 2000 Estate of Alexander Calder / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 1996.120.8

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Louise Bourgeois, American, born France, 1911 - 2010, Spring, 1949, painted balsa, Gift of the Collectors Committee 1992.102.3

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Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, 1901 - 1966, The Chariot, 1950, bronze, Gift of Enid A. Haupt © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 1977.47.2

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Related works: Circle I  and Circle II.

David Smith, American, 1906 - 1965, Circle III, 1962, painted steel, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1977.60.3

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Anne Truitt, American, 1921 - 2004, Knight's Heritage, 1963, acrylic on wood, Gift of the Collectors Committee 2011.19.1

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A long, rectangular strip of yellowed painted fabric is draped over a horizontal wooden rod that hangs from the ceiling in this sculptural piece. The dowel is perpendicular to the wall so juts into the gallery space. In this photograph, we are almost in front of the piece, near the wall to look onto one of the long sides. The cheesecloth hangs straight down either side of the dowel so it is longer in the back, and the ends do not touch. An uneven application of latex paint on most of the fabric gives the work a rubbery appearance, and causes some variation in the surface to create shiny areas. The loose weave of the cheesecloth is visible at the ends where the fabric was not painted. The cloth and dowel seem to float in midair because the filament from which the rod hangs is invisible in this photograph.

Eva Hesse, American, born Germany, 1936 - 1970, Test Piece for "Contingent", 1969, latex over cheesecloth, Gift of the Collectors Committee 1996.116.1

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Set in a gallery against a row of windows, a free-standing, white plaster cube, nearly reaching the ceiling, angles back and away from us slightly to our right. The cube is made of blocks that fit together so the seams are visible. The side to our left is smooth. A short, tongue-like projection at the bottom center of the face to our right is surrounded by an inverted, squared off U arching over it. Though not obvious in this photograph, the artist created this work by filling an empty room with plaster. The tongue-like shape is the inside of a fireplace, and is lightly blackened where it lined the interior. The inset paneling in the cube would have been the room's mantlepiece, and inset bands along the floor and top of the cube would have been the baseboards and crown molding. The cube sits on a polished stone floor, and the ceiling of the room in which it sits is made of hollow triangular coffers. Opposite us, trees and a building are seen through the wall of windows behind the cube.

Rachel Whiteread, British, born 1963, Ghost, 1990, plaster on steel frame, Gift of The Glenstone Foundation 2004.121.1

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This horizontal photograph shows the twisting branches of a shiny silver tree, the sculpture rising high above the treetops of the living trees behind it. The trunk breaks into two sets of branches about a fifth of the way up the height of the sculpture. The branches to our left in this photograph curve and wind up and out while the branches to our right flare up in straighter lines. Diffused sunlight on the overcast day glints off the metal, creating bright white highlights against steel-gray shadows. The sculpture sits on a patch of grass with bushes and trees behind it.

Roxy Paine, American, born 1966, Graft, 2008-2009, stainless steel and concrete, Gift of Victoria and Roger Sant 2009.109.1

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