Michael Aaron Gallagher’s love for sculpture began as a child, when he studied the works of Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi. Seeing Brancusi’s sculptures firsthand in New York and Philadelphia, left an indelible impression and shaped his appreciation for modern abstract art and cubism.
The sweeping curvature of his “Bird in Space” series and the futuristic look of “Portrait of Mademoiselle Pogany,” was the aesthetic Michael wanted to achieve in his own sculpture collection.
Although he owns very few modern sculptures, “Metamor-fish” and “Girl with Teddy Bear” summarize the ideal of perfection through simplicity.
Within his collection of sculptures are also two works that compliment the ballerina paintings displayed in The Igor Talwinski Exhibit. Whereas oil paintings bring a scene to life in two dimensions, a sculpture is able to depict the energy and emotion in three.
What drew Michael to the sub-genre of dance-related sculptures was the beauty of movement and energy of motion that is reminiscent of artists like Edgar Degas, whose masterful paintings and ballerina sculpture known as “La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans” (“The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”) have all but defined the category. Perhaps less well-known is his series of smaller sculptures modeled after ballet positions. After seeing the works of Degas on display at The Clark Art Institute, Michael was inspired to achieve a similar aesthetic with his art acquisitions.
The first of his dance-related sculptures is one that rises from a rocky base, two figures entwined in movement. The drama and expression of their positions is still, yet they possess the fire of a fierce physical dialogue that is ever-reaching.
Similarly, the latest sculpture to be acquired for the collection is a bronze dancer or gymnast. Her arms outstretched, bending so low it is as if she is at once recoiling to the stage.
Though the detail of her extremities is minimalistic, there is a subtle overall beauty to her form and figure. Her pose, perfectly balanced on a marble base, she is both timeless and elegant.
To view more original works of art in The Michael Aaron Gallagher Collection click here.