In her The Body as Metaphor series of plaster and stone pieces, sculptor Ellen Lowenstein assigns significance to fragments of the body - hand, arm, legs, feet, even the heart – to express emotions, ideas and form that might get lost if she presented an entire human body.
Lowenstein notes, “Ironically, there is a freedom to better consolidate aspects of gesture within a part of the body, than the whole of it. Daily life with its flood of emotions, ideas, and sensations; art seen and loved; the natural world; love of materials; all are rolled into these supposed fragments. Additionally, using a part of the body has allowed me to express, in a formal sense, both the anatomical essence of the form as well as its ability to become abstract.”
Three of the stone sculptures are embellished with pigment. The marble Fig Picker is gently brushed with pigment, but Foot, Timeand Stone Heart are carved and polished alabaster with holes drilled to contain powdered pigment.
Also presented at PMA is Lowenstein's Whisper of the Forest, a life-size sculpture installation of a deer standing alert and observant amidst a group of sapling trees, a radical addition to her 'fragment' sculptures. With no explanation, the deer’s body is impaled by four saplings, conveying a complementary vulnerability to the collection of body-less limbs.
Ellen Lowenstein taught and influenced a generation of Bay Area artists as Professor of Sculpture at Skyline College in San Bruno. Her undergraduate degree was earned at Simmons College in Boston, and her MFA at San Francisco State University. She has exhibited her sculpture widely on the West Coast.
Whisper of the Forest by Ellen Lowenstein
Website by Werner Glinka