Proceedings of the…
Ninth National / International Sculpture Conference

March 31 – April, 1976 – New Orleans
Sculpture around the World

- Yacov Agam, France
- Ted Beiler, Canada
- Martin Blaszko, Argentina
- Elizabeth Catlett, Mexico
- Suren De, India
- E.W. Hawthorn, Australia
- Max Lyle, Australia
- Victor Temmerman, Belgium
- Arkom Vorajinda, Thailand

Monumental sculpture and society
Martin Blaszko, Argentina

“…If the characteristics of our age can be synthesizes in one notion, perhaps the concept of contradiction would be, for me, the most adequate. During the 20th century, any artists attempted to create a plastic structure equivalent to some basic ideas. Piet Mondrian, for instance, saw our universe as a harmonic, static, and well-balanced conglomerate in equilibrium. Antoine Pevsner had a vision of a continuous movement, dynamic as a process of growth. A very interesting book, The Authentic Person Dealing With Dilemma, by Sidney J. Harris, reveals hidden aspects of man’s self image and of his attitude towards the world. Visualizing common tensions felt by every human being perhaps should be the goal of modern-form creation. This presupposes a clear identification with general ideas and not with personal whims. The rhythms and the proportion within a piece of sculpture, therefore, must be a faithful copy of our feeling towards the world.
The monumentally of a sculpture is not only a question of height, it is a matter of the inner organization of the form and of the sensations the artist reflects in the sculpture. A man, who lacks the feeling of the real relationship between his person and the universe, will be unable to make a monumental sculpture, because the vision of this relationship is distorted. We often see huge sculptures which are not monumental because the vision of totality is distorted and the result of this is an expression of megalomania, since the artist sees himself, sometimes, as the center of the world. I agree with you that all the ideas or theories an artist might formulate will add nothing to his work and that the only eloquence which really counts, is the one of the work, if it is there…”
“UNIDENTIFIED: Can you explain further the question of monumentality? I believe just the opposite. You said if one feels his ego as the center of the world, he cannot do a monumental sculpture. Sometimes you have very good proportions and well-balanced parts. What has this to do with monumentally?
BLASZKO: A good proportion and a well-balanced composition are not enough to give a sense of monumentality. Greek sculpture has outstanding proportions. Some reliefs by Phydias are great. Perfect! But there is no feeling of monumentally. In fact, the Greeks felt themselves as the center of the universe, the Egyptians did not. The proportions must transmit a certain kind of feeling of the relationship between man and cosmos in order to give us the sensation of monumentally. A projection towards the world might be the attitude which enables this characteristic, and our age imposes such an attitude.”