Carole Feuerman (b.1945)
One of the top contemporary artists in the field of photorealism, the American sculptor Carole Feuerman continues the tradition of representational art pioneered by 20th century sculptors like Duane Hanson and John De Andrea. Like their work, Feuerman's plastic art is not only eerily true-to-life but it also tells a story. Best known for her painted bronze sculpture, she also uses other materials such as resin and marble. Typically she spends up to six months on a single figure, applying hundreds of layers of skin-toned paint and real hair to achieve the hyperrealist trompe l'oeil effect. Some of her figures include body parts copied from five or six different people. In addition to her public art, Feuerman's sculpture has been exhibited in some of the best art museums in the world, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Her works include: the Double Diver (2014), Quan (2013), and Survival of Serena (2012). In addition to being one of the leading American sculptors, Feuerman is noted for her graphic art as well as her painting and printmaking, and most recently her photography and interactive video works. See also: How to Appreciate Modern Sculpture (1800-present).
Feuerman began her art career as a designer and illustrator for Time Warner Records in New York, while still a student at the School of Visual Arts during the late 1960s. She painted 13 album covers for artists including The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Aretha Franklin. During the 1970s she moved from illustration to sculpture - winning the Betty Parsons Sculpture Award in 1970, and holding her first solo exhibition of hyperrealist sculpture at MJS Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1976. During the 1980s and 90s she continued to show her contemporary art at venues across America and in Europe, with exhibitions in New York and Paris. Since then, her work has been showcased in some of the best galleries of contemporary art, in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Florence, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Istanbul and Hong Kong, as well as three Venice Biennales (2007, 2013, 2015). In addition, she has been given six retrospectives. In 2014 she was appointed a board member of the International Sculpture Center and Chairman of the International Committee, which was responsible for establishing International Sculpture Day (April 24th).
Although realist sculpture first emerged in the form of portrait busts of Roman Emperors (compare these gritty works with romantic Greek sculpture), and was continued most memorably by sculptors like Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), it wasn't until the advent of Pop-Art in the 1960s that artists like Duane Hanson (1925-96), John De Andrea (b.1941) and Feuerman began to produce superrealist figurative sculpture. All three made full use of the new materials to hand, as well as accessories such as hair and clothes, in order to create the ultimate in lifelike figures. In the process these artists created a completely new genre of photorealist portraits. (See also the realist painting of Chuck Close and Richard Estes.)
Feuerman herself maintains the populist focus by portraying ordinary people in everyday situations - a woman in an inner tube at the seaside, or a child playing baseball - thus making her work instantly accessible. Noted in particular for her images of swimmers, she possesses an uncanny ability to recreate the optical illusion of water droplets and perspiration on a human body. All this requires an outstanding skill in figure drawing, rigorous attention to casting, and a talent for breathing life into her models through the meticulous rendition of wrinkles, freckles, pores, lips, teeth, eyes, hair, skin colour and other features.
Since the early 2000s she has created numerous works which are now displayed in public. Recent examples include: Double Diver (2014, Sunnyvale, California); Survival of Serena (2012, Petrosino Square, New York City); Next Summer (2012, Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne); and The Golden Mean (2012, Riverfront Green Park, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York). Other notable works by Feuerman include: Quan (2013) showcased at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and The General's Daughter (2013) exhibited at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Her sculptures DurgaMa (2014) and Leda and the Swan (2014) were shown in 2015 at the Venice Biennale at Palazzo Mora. A winner of numerous awards, Feuerman is now recognized as one of America's leading postmodernist artists of the 21st century.
Works by Feuerman are held in a number of important public collections, including: Forbes Magazine Art Collection (New York), Brandeis University (MA), Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation (Los Angeles), the Hermitage (St Petersburg), President Mikhail S. Gorbachev Foundation (Moscow), Vin & Spritcentralen Museet (Stockholm), Art-st-Urban (Lucerne), and many others.
For more about contemporary art, see the following:
Contemporary Art Festivals
Art Movements (1970-present)
For more about realism in sculpture, see: Homepage.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCULPTURE