Germaine Richier

Forest Man, Large version

1945–46 (cast 2007)

Forest Man is one of Germaine Richier’s most celebrated and characteristic works. Real pieces of wood and bark, as well as a large leaf found by the artist in the Valais, Switzerland, were collaged onto the clay before casting. Unlike Daphne, the nymph from Classical Greek mythology who was entirely transformed into a laurel tree, Forest Man is half-tree half-human. Whether a metamorphosis will take place, in one direction or another, is not revealed to us. The magic that emanates from this strange sylvan creature, so expressive of the artist’s affinity with the unromantic forces of nature, is its balletic pose—the halting step and the suspended arms. Richier described movement in her figures, with regard to Forest Man and other works of the period, as follows: “I would rather suggest it. My sculpture should give the impression of being still and at the same time about to move” (quoted by the artist’s niece Françoise Guiter in the catalogue of the exhibition Germaine Richier. Retrospective, Saint Paul, Fondation Maeght, 5 April - 25 June 1966, p. 33).

Not on View

Artist Germaine Richier
Original Title L'Homme-forêt, grand
Date 1945–46 (cast 2007)
Medium Dark patinated bronze
Dimensions 94 x 45 x 45 cm
Credit line Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Gift of the Germaine Richier Family
Accession 2007.147
Collection Acquisitions
Type Sculpture

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Not on View

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