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Galerie Sommerlath

Three Busts Drawing signed J.M

Three Busts Drawing signed J.M

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The question that immediately arises when considering this work by Marx is: How does the artist transcend the two-dimensionality of his drawing to make us feel the presence of his three busts so palpably, as a sculptural work would suggest? How do the sobriety and stark contrasts shape these three faces? Those of a man, a woman, and an angelic child. With an economy of strokes, Marx's hand divides space, contrasts light and shadow, and frames volumes with almost no modulation. We note here the classical influence, perhaps from ancient Greece, where the bust made it possible to fix the eternal to the fleeting and immortalize the instant. By forgoing a showy display of technical prowess, John Marx focuses on light as his main subject, offering us a straightforward and sincere approach to representation. This choice could be analyzed as a metaphor for the human condition, filled with fundamental contrasts and tensions between being and appearing, or the finite and infinite aspects of existence. With their truncated necks, the busts hark back to a tradition of exposure and contemplation of human plasticity, whether literal or metaphorical. In its simplicity, the drawing suggests rather than declares, provoking the viewer to fill in the blanks with personal meanings. The arrangement of the figures—the man and woman surrounding the angelic child—may echo religious themes or representations of the Holy Family. However, the positioning of the figures and the abstraction of their surroundings also offer a more universal dialogue, perhaps a meditation on family, protection, innocence, and the passage of time. In his drawing "The Three Busts," John Marx impressively masters the experience of transcendence. Using pared-down elements, the Californian artist invites us to meditate on human existence, the role of parental figures, and the purity of childhood, giving his graphic study the strength and substance of a sculptural work.

REFERENCE NUMBER: LU654314592802
PERIOD: Late 20th Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 23" Width: 26.5" Depth: 0.75"
COUNT: 1
MATERIAL: Pencil

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