Herbert George

Historical Memory Works

Each sculpture in this series is based on a particular historic work. The first, The Lapith, began with my interest in the implied movement and majestic narrative drapery in this particular metope from the Parthenon. The sculpture defines a space infused with the memory of this classical relief.

In this two-part sculpture, The Visit and the Apparition, the drapery in one section is based upon the central figure in a painting by Balthus entitled The Room (1947–48). It resembles a wing, which in turn brought to mind the angel’s wing in the Annunciation by Fra Angelico (1438), which is outlined in the forged-steel second section.

Light-Reflection-Space is a seven-part work based upon three views of the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre. The three vertical sections attached to the central right triangle mark three segments of the original classical sculpture in which I questioned whether they alone could suffice for the original.

The three forged steel screens are based on the primary forms found in the bronze reliefs. The sculpture is meant to be placed within the building seen in the last two drawings. The significance of this piece for me lies in part in the large open circular skylight in the center of the building. Can natural light and the bronze images transmit the memory of the original Greek sculpture through time and over distance?

The final sculpture in this section is based on the Ludovica Albertoni by Bernini. Specifically, the work was my attempt to address the paradox that I felt in the original sculpture. The violent convulsion of Ludovica’s ecstasy is represented on one side of the white wall while her repose within the recalled tranquility of the chapel with its filtered light and compressed space is rendered on the other.