Frederick Hart - Frederick Hart Bronze Sculpture

Study of the Artist’s Wife

Study of the Artist’s Wife
Dimensions: 22 3/4″ x 10 1/2″ x 7 1/2″
Medium: Bronze
Edition Number: #19/45

Although the artist’s wife, Lindy Lain Hart, modeled
for individual works, there are only two works that are
direct portraits of her: “Study of the Artist’s Wife” and
“Portrait of the Artist’s Wife.” This particular study was
an intimate study created during Hart’s Washington
National Cathedral period. During that time he explored
new ideas in clay studies and old- one project sought to
prove out an outdated method of establishing figural
proportions. He had asked a model who had recently
started to pose for one of the figures if she would invest
the time to work with him on this project—she said yes
and within a year they both said yes to a life that would
result in twenty-one years of marriage.

Hart often commented that a work is not, in this case
just a beautiful nude study- but that it also tells a story.
The exquisite story which unfolds here is the economy
of line and the sensuality of form. Hart draws our eyes
to the singular beauty of the delicate line of the shoulder
and the beautiful curve of the hip. The sensual form of the
hands in their graceful and protective positioning in
relation to the figure adds an element of vulnerability and
fragility. The story continues as the viewer further seeks
to explore the beauty and truth of this sculpture through
the delicate yet self assured facial features of the model.

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"I believe that art has a moral responsibility, that it must pursue something higher than itself. Art must be a part of life. It must exist in the domain of the common man. It must be an enriching, ennobling and vital partner in the public pursuit of civilization. it should be a majestic presence in everyday life just as it was in the past.

These are the words of Frederick Hart who has been described as America's greatest representational artist. "My work isn't art for art's sake, it's about life. I have no patience with obscure or unintelligible art - I want to be understood."

Born in Atlanta, in 1967 he began working at the Washington National Cathedral as an aspiring artist working with Italian stone carvers. "The Cathedral became a magical place for me, a place outside of this century. The wonderful Italian stone carvers who worked there were the last of a generation, a link back to the major American architectural works of the early 1900's, to buildings like the Supreme Court, the Federal Triangle, and Grand Central Station, as well as to the great American sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French."

In 1971 he began sculpting in his own unheated studio, "almost starving to death" as he sketched his ideas for the Cathedral international competition to commission the design for a series of "creation" sculptures for its main facade, Hart remembers, "It was to be a contemporary idea of Creation, a vision of an unfolding universe." Inspired by Pierre Tellhard de Chardin's writings on science and theology, Hart envisioned a great allegorical work which would evoke the heroic struggle for awakening and consciousness. The selection committee for the Cathedral was impressed with the power and vision of his scale model studies and in 1974 awarded him the project. He was thirty-one.

In the year 1985 President Regan honored Hart with a prestigious and influential role by appointing him to a five-year term on the Commission of Fine Art. The Creation Sculptures were completed in 1990, almost twenty years after Hart began designing them and he went on to create the statue of "Three Soldiers" for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the nation's capitol. In 1993 he was distinguished with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina.

Frederick Hart's legacy is diverse and wide spread, throughout his career he worked in stone, bronze, marble and pioneered the use of acrylics in figurative sculpture, a technique he called "sculpting with light". He was an inventive revolutionary; his works are physical and sensuous, yet spiritual; direct, graceful and subtle. He is survived by Lindy Hart and they are the parents of two sons, Lain and Alexander. --And he is survived by his art which lives on, spreading ethereal, vibrant beauty throughout the world.