Commanding presences meet us in the work of Helaine Blumenfeld. The body, nature, and emotional forces strike us immediately. The bloom of white marble and the more visceral forces revealed by bronze images need to be explored and even deciphered. We wonder how these tantalizing and ambiguous sculptures came into being. The human body is apparent, but often we cannot quite "find" it. Pleasure, pain, struggle, and release are here as well, and we can find poise, balance, and beauty. Much of the most powerful work returns to the basic female dilemma of being divided, conflicted in some way--in spirit, in attitude, and indeed many times in form. Blumenfeld is one of the rare sculptors who does not pass the work on to the convenient craftsman, but rather plays a handson role from start to finish. Completing her models in one of the several studios she works in, she follows through, selecting the stone and watching over the pointing up production as well as carving with chisel and power compressor. The material presents a technical challenge that she relishes, enjoying the different qualities of stone and color as well as relative translucency and light. In the footsteps of the great Italian stone carvers, she embraces both the challenge and the result. Blumenfeld was produced to accompany Letting Go, the 2014 Robert Bowman exhibition of Blumenfeld's work. Texts and commentary by the artist give arresting insight into both the creative, emotional geneses of her works and the materialities used to realize them. Introductory texts by both Karen Wright and Alan Caine relate Blumenfeld's impressive biography and, helped by over 200 superb photographs, bear witness to the dynamic, material sensuality of her sculptural forms.
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