International Sculpture Day 2020 #ISDay
Many of us are sheltering inside, but there’s amazing public art created by sculpture students at Sunningwell School of Art, led by our extraordinary tutor and sculptor, Pam Foley, that deserves to be showcased – so we did just that (virtually of course), on Saturday 25 April.
International Sculpture Day, or ISDay is a worldwide annual celebration of sculpture on the last Saturday of April every year. It was established by the International Sculpture Center and is meant to raise awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of sculpture in communities across the globe.
As well as hosting a virtual exhibition on our website, we highlighted the huge part sculpture and sculptors have played in people’s lives with a daily countdown to ISDay. Each day we focused on a specific sculpture and sculptor, starting with Michelangelo and his iconic ‘David’ followed by. ‘The Kiss’ by Rodin, ‘Two Forms (Divided Circle)’ by Barbara Hepworth, ‘Spider’ by Louise Bourgeois and last but most certainly not least, ‘Les Trois Graces’ by Niki de Saint Phalle.
For more information about International Sculpture Day here.
Two Women Sculptors of the 20th Century online course
Pam would love you to continue celebrating #ISDay by participating in her new online course focusing on 2 Women Sculptors of the 20th Century, who use and portray the human form in their art, Niki de Saint Phalle and Malvina Hoffman. The five week course starts on Tuesday the 9th June at 9:30am and finishes on Saturday 7th July.
Countdown to ISDay – Final day
Les Trois Graces by Niki de Saint Phalle (1999)
Les Trois Graces is a set of three public artworks by French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. The Three Graces are part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Avenue Sculpture Project. In the classic style of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work, Les Trois Graces are three large sculptures of voluptuous women (a creation that de Saint Phalle calls a ‘Nana’) who appear to be dancing. Made of fiberglass, one Nana is covered in white, one yellow and the other is black mosaic tiles, ranging in heights of 12 to 15 feet.
They all wear elaborate bathing suits in designs such as hearts, fish and instruments, in multiple color schemes. A whimsical set of sculptures, the three figures have their arms raised as if ballet dancing; each has one foot on the ground and another raised up. They are Saint Phalle’s own version of The Three Graces. The artist said that the works represent unity among the races.
Les Trois Graces are the first of many sculptures being installed for the New York Avenue Sculpture Project by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. By 2015 a selection of sculptures was installed along New York Avenue from 13th Street to 9th Street. The Museum’s efforts were in part to bring ‘character’ to an area where ‘there is a lot of good stuff going on’ due to revitalisation programs in the neighbourhood. The installation of de Saint Phalle’s pop art works was intended to contrast with the traditional sculpture that graces the streets and square’s of Washington.
Did Niki de Saint Phalle’s work change the art world?
Read the Art News article for a fascinating discussion about art, feminism, politics and social change.
23rd May to 31st May 2020 – Full details of Oxfordshire’s Visual Arts Festival
- Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Summertown, Nth Oxford – Sarah Wiseman Gallery is the largest independent gallery space in Oxford and has built a strong reputation for ambitious and engaging exhibitions of contemporary art by established as well as emerging artists. Director Sarah Wiseman opened the gallery in 1998 and it was quickly established as a leading space for contemporary art in Oxford. Sarah has sought out a varied group of artists with an eye to individuality and technical accomplishment, reflecting her passion and commitment to contemporary art.
- The National Gallery, London
- The Royal Acadamy – An independent fine arts institution which supports contemporary artists and promotes interest in the arts through a comprehensive and ambitious exhibition programme.
- Tate online
- National Portrait Gallery – The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1865 to collect the likenesses of famous British men and women. Today the collection is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.
- The Ashmolean – Museum of art and archaeology, Oxford
- Victoria and Albert Museum – “The purpose of the Victoria and Albert Museum is to enable everyone to enjoy its collections and explore the cultures that created them; and to inspire those who shape contemporary design.”
- BBC – Arts – The BBC’s “…gateway to visual arts, literature, culture and getting creative”