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ISC Figurative Collection

The International Sculpture Center organized its first Collection in 1998. The ISC, like many nonprofit organizations, was faced with the challenge of raising funds in difficult times without resorting to raising membership fees. ISC Collection I was conceived as a creative fundraising alternative to the art auction and was specifically designed to supplement the ISC’s budget while offering a level of respect and regard for the market value of artists’ works not generally accomplished with art auctions. Collection I and subsequent Collections II, III, and IV successfully attracted collectors while respecting the integrity of the contributing artists’ prices.

Artists were invited to participate in Collections I through IV using a balance of artistic approach and taking into consideration the artists’ reputations and collectibility. Collections I through IV were each purchased by museum or private collectors and included contributions from artists as renowned and diverse as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bill Barrett, Bruce Beasley, Fletcher Benton, Anthony Caro, Linda Fleming, Mark di Suvero, John Henry, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and dozens of others. The ISC Board of Directors are grateful to all the contributing artists over the years for providing valuable support for the ISC’s programs including Sculpture magazine, the ISC Web site, Resource Center, Conferences, and Education and Award Programs. We also are grateful to the museums and private collectors who have purchased these outstanding works of art.

This year’s ISC Figurative Collection continued the tradition of offering the finest contemporary sculpture. The Figurative Collection has been purchased by a private collector. The ISC gratefully acknowledges the support of the contributing artists and Mary O'Shaughnessy's Wood Street Gallery in Chicago for making the Figurative Collection a success. All artworks were donated by the artists. All proceeds benefit the programs of the International Sculpture Center (ISC), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Tom Otterness
Tom Otterness was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1952. He studied at the Arts Students League and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. His many solo exhibitions include shows at the Museum of Modern Art and numerous prominent galleries. Otterness’s The Real World is one of New York´s most popular public artworks. Cast in bronze, the sculptures feature Otterness´s signature cartoonish figures: animals and people, bankers and robbers, laborers and pilgrims, predators and prey, all rubbing shoulders in his delightfully loopy narrative world. Otterness’s other public commissions include the Los Angeles Federal Court Plaza, the 14th Street/8th Avenue subway station in New York, and the State Library in Münster. His work was recently featured at the Marlborough Gallery in New York.

Kindly Gepetto,
2001. Bronze, 24 x 15 x 15.5 in.
Stephen De Staebler
Stephen De Staebler was born in Saint Louis in 1933. He studied at Princeton University, Black Mountain College, and the University of California, Berkeley, and he taught for many years at the San Francisco Art Institute. The fractured human figure has been the subject of De Staebler’s sculpture for many years, and his works fuse the tangible corporeality of clay with a sense of the metaphysical. Peter Selz’s article on his work appears in the May 2002 issue of Sculpture. De Staebler’s solo exhibitions have been featured at the Oakland Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, and most recently at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York. His many public commissions include works for the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit Chapel, Berkeley; the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco; and the San Jose Convention Center.

Two Woman Torso,
1994. Bronze, 41.5 x 21 x 14 in.
Viola Frey
Viola Frey was born in 1933 in Lodi, California. She received her B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and her M.F.A. from Tulane University, New Orleans. Her work is important for its figurative use of clay (often a businessman, a housewife, and a grandmother), particularly at large scale and in bright colors. She has twice received an Artist’s Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Commission of San Francisco has conferred on her an Award of Honor for Sculpture. Her numerous solo exhibitions include “Larger than Life: Ceramic Figures by Viola Frey” at the Boise Art Museum, the traveling exhibition “Viola Frey: Plates 1968–1994,” and “Viola Frey: A Bricoleur of the 20th Century” at Pacific Bell in San Ramon, California. She resides in Oakland, California.

1995. Glazed ceramic,
33 x 28 x 16 in.
William King
William King was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1925. He studied at the University of Florida, Cooper Union, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Rome, and the Central School, London. King uses sheet metal that is slotted together like cardboard cut-outs for children’s toys. His sculpture forms a significant commentary on the human condition that is often a statement of joy, exuberance, and ease. He has taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, University of California, Berkeley, the Art Students League, New York, and the University of Pennsylvania. His solo exhibitions include shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Grounds For Sculpture, New Jersey.

Buddha Left and
Buddha Right
2002. Copper,
9.5 x 9.5 x 12.5 in.
Manuel Neri
Manuel Neri was born in Sanger, California, in 1930. He studied art at the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland and the California School of Fine Arts (now San Francisco Art Institute). Neri is known primarily for his life-size figurative sculptures in plaster, bronze, and marble, as well as for his association with the Bay Area Figurative movement. He has completed numerous public commissions, and his work has been acquired by many important collections, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1990, Neri retired from the University of California, Davis, where he had taught since 1965. He divides his time between his studios in Italy and California.

Pecadoras Series I (Cast 2/5),
2001. Bronze and mixed media, 31.25 x 7.9 x 7.25 in.
Judith Shea
Born in 1948, Judith Shea’s early training was as a clothing designer. Her earliest sculptures were simple forms made of pliant fabric hung on the wall. Later, she began casting fabric in metal to achieve greater strength and rigidity. The use of clothing forms has allowed her to represent the human figure using the most economical of means and to synthesize figurative art and Minimalism. In the mid-1980s, Shea began juxtaposing figures with forms and then pairing figures to give her work added psychological complexity. Her one-person exhibitions have included “Selected Works: 1979—1994,” at Max Protetch Gallery in New York; “Recent Sculpture,” at John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco; and “Monuments and Statues,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, in New York.

1998. Bronze and gold leaf,
18 x 3 x 2.5 in.

Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith was born in Germany in 1954. She began to make figures for her traveling puppet theatre in the early 1970s. By 1976, she had moved to New York where she continues to reside and work. She trained to be an emergency medical technician at the Brooklyn hospital in 1985, and the same year she also began to work in glass at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop. Kiki Smith’s concern with the body and the skin as a protective but fragile, penetrable membrane surfaced in works of the late 1970s. Upending paradigms of the classical figure and hierarchies of artistic materials with her use of glass, beads, paper and wax, Smith has created many poignant and sometimes disturbing images. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 1993 Venice Biennale, and most recently at the 2002 Whitney Biennial in Central Park and Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York.

2001. Bronze, 8 x 3 x 5 in.