Direct carving

DEFINITION

Beginning in France in the 1890s with sculptor Joseph Bernard, direct carving was a method of creating a single sculpture and was a departure from traditional processes of bronze sculpture that led to multiple copies and employment of studio assistants. Direct carving involves only the carver, his/her tools, and the medium, which traditionally is stone, marble, or wood. A shared commitment of direct carvers is remaining true to the inherent properties of the medium, meaning to respect the integrity of the lines and texture and to let those entities guide the creative hand. Direct Carving received international attention when work by sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi and Ossip Zadkine used that method in their entries that appeared at the 1913 New York Armory Show. In America, Chaim Gross, Jose de Creeft, and Seymour Lipton were pioneers of the method in the early 20th century, and direct carving has continued among succeeding generations including Elfriede Abbe in the 1960s. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART Database

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