Lanning, a Bryant Nagel Gallery, celebrates the career of singular bronze sculptor Howard Hitchcock (1927-2016). The last of the artist’s sculptures will be unveiled in “Howard Hitchcock: Out of a Fiery Furnace” which opens with a reception 1st Friday, March 2nd, from 5:00-8:00 pm in Sedona, Arizona.
For more than a generation, Howard Hitchcock (1927-2016) was a sculptor, devoting decades to perfecting the art of ceramic shell casting. For thirty-two years he also devoted himself to sharing this knowledge as a university professor of art, teaching a course in bronze casting for close to two decades. When no book was available on this process, he wrote one: Out of the Fiery Furnace (William Kaufmann, Inc. 1985). “Ceramic shell casting is the most spectacular art process imaginable,” Hitchcock wrote, “particularly at the crescendo of a night pour when the glowing, golden stream of liquid bronze flows into the red-hot shell, bringing it to neon incandescence in the dark.”
To help us understand the process that had captured his heart, the preface to the Howard Hitchcock book begins: “Lost-wax casting is truly an ancient and venerable art that has been practiced in diverse cultures and continents over thousands of years. The most modern approach to that ancient process, dating from only the mid-point of the twentieth century, is ceramic shell casting. Instead of being encased in the traditional solid-block mold that weakens in the heat of burnout, the wax model is thinly coated with a ceramic material that is fired by the burnout into a hard, lightweight shell for receiving the molten bronze. In both cases, whatever was wax becomes bronze.”
The artistic vision of Howard Hitchcock, one informed by humor, satire, and even commentary, belies the seriousness of his skills and intellect. Every remarkable bronze he creates challenges viewers to work out its cleverness. In the artist’s sculptures stylized human forms, and often cars as well, blend into the structure of objects, both imagined and ordinary, and as disparate as train stations and violins. The human forms by Howard Hitchcock form the spokes of wheels, push over-sized envelopes and, in a piece entitled, “On the Cutting Edge,” perch atop a blade.
The sculptures by Howard Hitchcock have been exhibited throughout the United States, Mexico and Japan. And he is, most deservedly, included in “Who’s Who in American Art.” With the artist’s passing in 2016, these are among the very last pieces of Hitchcock’s work that will be available.
Mark your calendar to attend the opening for “Howard Hitchcock: Out of a Fiery Furnace” on March 2nd. This exhibition runs through March 11.
“Mixed Metaphors” by Howard Hitchcock, bronze, 23”h x 18”w x 18”d. At Lanning, a Bryant Nagel Gallery, in Sedona, AZ.
“Violetta” Sextet II” & “Allegreta” by Howard Hitchcock, bronze, heights 17” to 18”. At Lanning, a Bryant Nagel Gallery, in Sedona, AZ.
|Event End Date||03-31-2018|