Contradiction and Blaszko’s sensuality
Written by Fabio Barraclough, Oxford,
1968 en Sculpture International

Blaszko’s own words reflect very clearly the light by which he works, and his theory of bipolarity or acceptance of contradiction can be seen as a very good safeguard against extreme influences.

His work has been sensitively discussed by such important authors as Bachmann, Seuphor, Pellegrini and Germaine Derbecq. I disagree, however, with Berbecq’s view that Blaszko’s work lacks sensuality. It presupposes the Mediterranean definition of sensuality in art. In Latin countries there is a close connection between the concepts of sensuality and figurative representation riveted by traditional “classical” ties. Paganism has been a powerful artistic motive: it has provided for the physical incarnation of ideas. Its sensuality in sculptural expression has been dulled however, lumbered as it is with the human body, whole and unselective, as vehicle. Sculpture can be sensual without being erotic; it can be erotic without being conventionally figurative. Certainly Blaszko does not set out to be erotic, for he is powerfully concerned (in his own words) with “the artist’s determination, throughout history, of impressing on the forms that he creates characteristics which reflect the philosophic and scientific speculation of his time, and to reflect economic and social structures”. But this does not reduce the sensuality of his work, as it does not wholly eliminate eroticism, for he qualifies the main intention above with specific personal purpose: “The order, the organization and the rhythm (of our vision of the universe) should therefore be a faithful copy of our action-mechanism. The artistic act creation is a biological function.”