Why a bronze naked woman squatting in a niche in the Henry Art Gallery?
What I most wanted to develop in this piece was a sense of presence. So much figure sculpture, as so much representational art, is exactly that; a representation and little else. And this is the reason why, rightly I think, so many generations of artists and theorists have shrugged off this art form. A representation of a thing trying to be a thing is a poor substitute for a thing. Let the painting be a painting, the reasoning goes, and not a picture of a pasture with sheep and some puffy clouds.
But in the best art, the object is a thing of its own. It has a power. It owns its space. I wanted this piece to own her little corner of the gallery. And if that was all she did, then that is enough. She is not particularly asking for anything else. She is not commenting on anything other than her space and her role in that space.
She is not saying, “I am art and you are not.”
What she is actually saying is,