Germaine Richier

Forest Man, Large version

1945–46 (cast 2007)

Forest Man is one of Germaine Richier’s most celebrated and characteristic works. Real trunks 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 the classical Greek nymph Daphne, who was transformed entire 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 un-romantic forces of nature, is its balletic posture—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).

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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