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Photo: Dan Wayne

 

Robert Graham
Born 1938 in Mexico City, Mexico
Lives and works in Venice, CA
Source Figure, 1990
bronze, edition 7/9
106 inches high x 24 inches diameter
Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection
Gift of the R. C. Kemper Charitable Trust and Foundation
1999.21
enlarge image return to collection directory

Mexican-born Robert Graham is one of the country’s most well-known realist sculptors. He is known for his sculptures of female nudes and his many public commissions which include Kansas City’s Charlie “Bird” Parker Memorial, the Duke Ellington Monument in New York City, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Source Figure suggests a caryatid of ancient classical Greek sculpture—a beautiful sculpted female form used as a supporting column on the front of Greek temples, holding up the portico, or porch, roof. Here the nude female form, a stellar example of classicism in contemporary sculpture, stands atop a column whose surface is textured with hundreds of small blobs of bronze, creating an interesting textural juxtaposition with the smoothness of the female form.

Graham’s work is in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and many others.