Sculptor Greg Wyatt ’71 discusses a few of the great works that influenced him.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Marble 52 1/8 in. × 29 in. × 18 7/8 in., c. 1616–17
Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection
“In this early work by Renaissance sculptor Bernini, children climb a tree with vines made of grapes and flowers, teasing the face of a faun. They express the happiness of play. It reminds me of the importance of children’s capacity for making art, and that within humanity there exists creative qualities to cherish and uphold. I surrounded the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine’s Peace Fountain with 120 small bronze sculptures that make this statement.”
Watercolor and graphite on paper, 21 1/3 in. × 17 in., c. 1900
The Art Institute of Chicago
“I have been painting in watercolors for my entire career, learning about ideas and the places throughout the world in which I express my visual thinking and experimentation. This is a practice of journal keeping for thoughts and artistically expressing forms of nature, which upon occasion will inspire three-dimensional works in bronze. One such example occurred during the first year that I was teaching sculpture in Aix-en-Provence, France, in the mid-1990s. On the first day I was given the use of a small studio for my personal work, on the grounds of Cezanne’s Chateau Noir. Each day after morning sculptures classes in the nearby l’Ecole Marchutz studios I would return to Chateau Noir to study forms and watercolor paint the beautiful pistachio tree still growing in Cezanne’s garden.”
Wax, 7 ft. high, c. 1516
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
“A masterpiece example of Michelangelo’s working methods in sculpture. At a young age I was inspired to learn of the master’s initial methods of working in very pliable, very responsive beeswax materials, in search of three-dimensional solutions in large-scale carved marble masterpieces. For the small-scale bozetti, or sculpture studio maquettes of terra cotta, Plastilina modeling clay or beeswax that I have created over a lifetime, I always acknowledge the inspiration of Michelangelo.”
“Hudson River School of Painting leading master Thomas Moran became a recognized member of the 1871 Hayden Expedition, a geographic study by 40 scientists commissioned by Congress to scientifically explore and document wildlife areas in western frontiers in lands that became Yellowstone National Park. Moran’s enormous Yellowstone landscape painting now occupies a permanent place of honor in the halls of Congress, reminding us of the important public contribution artists make to our nation’s environmental heritage.”
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