James Wines

Homage to Léger


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Painted concrete and steel
Object: 470 x 600 x 650 mm
Presented by Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II through the American Federation of Arts 1965

Catalogue entry

James Wines born 1932

T00760 Homage to Léger 1965

Not inscribed
Iron and polychromed cement, 18 1/2 x 24 x 22 1/2 (47 x 61 x 57), on steel base, 1/2 x 18 x 22 (1.5 x 46 x 55.5)
Presented by Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II through the American Federation of Arts 1965
Prov: Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II, New York and London (purchased from the artist through the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York)

The artist wrote (17 November 1965): 'The sculpture is one of a series of recent works created very much along architectural lines utilizing this combination of exposed steel and reinforced concrete. With the exception of Leger and Mondrian my major influences come from architects such as Corbusier, Wright, Kahn. I was somewhat tired of open work sculpture of the welded variety and decided to incorporate the advantages of both open graphic line in steel and the dense volumes of cement. Of course I was influenced largely by structural techniques peculiar to building construction - first the frame and the in-filling of reinforced concrete defining light, shadow, mass. Color is used for emotional emphasis and destruction of certain spaces and surfaces rather than for any painterly interaction.

'The title Homage to Leger was given after the completion of the work as I feel a great debt to this master. Its first title was Disc and One Quarter.

'All of the iron work is either forged by me or utilizes found objects. I often use discard scrap; but do not consider my work much related to so-called "junk sculpture". Found parts that interest me usually have some image impact and, I hope, free my rather strongly geometric sculpture from a strict formalism.'

He later added in a statement of 1966 printed in the catalogue of his exhibition at the Charles A. Dana Creative Arts Center, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY in September-October 1966:

'My colored sculptures are based on a Leger premise dividing areas with black line to shift dimension and weight. In my work the black lines become the bands and forms of steel which read both graphically and as three dimensional shape. This locking in of color differs from the flat painted surface. Light, shadow, reflection on the angles and directions of planes all serve to place color in a constantly changing state. My first works used color only as emphasis or to push forward or soften a volume in some desired relationship. Now the whole complex area of color interaction is beginning to concern me.'

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.763-4, reproduced p.763