Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The sensual sculpture of Donal Hord

Thanks to art collectors, Richard Dyson (who died in 2013) and his partner, Robert Roberson (1999), the San Diego History Center received eight major sculptures from Donal Hord (1902-1966), famous sculptor of San Diego, California.
Dyson and his partner ran a flower shop in La Mesa and were early collectors of Hord’s work.

Catalog of 1999 show at San Diego History Center
Donal Hord 'Man and the wheel' or 'Wheel of Industry' or 'Man and the machine' 1934
''Donal Hord was considered one of the most preeminent American sculptors by many in the national and local art community during the early to mid-20th century. At the time Hord was the only local artist to become a full Academician of the National Academy of Design and a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society.''
Donal Hord 'Morning'
Donal Hord 'Young bather' 1955

''Hord preferred Direct Carving, a process which involves only the carver, the tools, and the medium and shuns the use of working from a drawing. The carver takes inspiration from the medium’s lines and angles, allowing the material to dictate the form and represents a return to the direct approach used in primitive art. Hord worked mainly with hard materials like jade, onyx, and granite in stone and rosewood, mahogany, and lignum vitae in woods.''

Donal Hord 'Kneeling young man'

Picture below shows Donal Hord in 1956 working on the model of his sculpture Angel of Peace. The real-life sculpture (shown in the next 2 photos) is located at the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. Photo of Donal Hord is from San Diego History Center.

Some other sculptures from Donal Hord still focussed on the male body.

Donal Hord 'Siesta'

Donal Hord 'Man with a mask'
Donal Hord 'Reclining male nude' in plaster

Donal Hord 'Thunder'
Hord also designed some medals figuring males, as seen below.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Arthur Volkmann

Arthur Volkmann, another German sculptor, was born in Leipzig on August 28, 1851, and had interest for art very early.

He started studying sculpture at 17, during 5 years, then accomplished his military service, before to further study in Germany, and he also got a scholarship allowing him to go to Italy, in Rome.

Volkmann was strongly influenced by the painter Hans von Marees who he admired.  Marees painted a lot of scenes with male nudes, sometimes a personal interpretation of mythology like paintings of Ganymede, or Achille. Volkmann tried to apply Marees painting approach to his sculpture work, including coloring some of his marbles.
Volkmann began to paint as well later in his life.

At the end, almost blind, he wrote his memoirs, and some texts to explain his paintings and Marees art vision. He died aged 90.