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Luciano Minguzzi

/Works and biography

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Two Figures (Due figure), 1950–52
Bronze, 140 x 80 x 60 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice
Gift of the artist 88.3604


Both figures are women; the smaller, in the other’s lap, is perhaps younger—with a pony tail, and a groove through the cranium comparable to similar devices in the sculpture of Henry Moore. Yet the subject matter of Two Figures, is surely secondary to its sculptural values. The emphatic volumes, the striations, the variety of surface in color and texture, the complex interplay of the limbs and torsos of the two figures, the voids that reshape themselves as the viewer moves around the work, all offer us the aesthetic satisfactions of vigorous sculptural form. The exposure of the armature on which the clay original was built tells us that this is an artefact of the sculptor’s hand and craft. To identify here a rhetoric component, that the work may be expressive of the maiming of war victims and the survival of the emotion of love and tenderness between mother and child despite hideous disfigurement (including decapitation!), may be to press ‘interpretation’ too far. In a comparable headless and footless sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, the smaller figure is omitted, depriving the work of the implicit exchange of sentiments between the two women.

credits: Hangar Design Group