The Plaza at the Institute

My first view of the Institute. Nine towering sculptures by the Ivens Brothers greeted me. I checked in at the Main Hall and was assigned to Fabrication/Foundry, 4th class/manual.

NOTES: "The dignified, the ludicrous, the voluptous, the horrible succeed each other with bewildering rapidity." [article on Apuleius, Encyclopedia Brittanica, 11th edition, in referance to The Golden Ass ]

The Ivens Brothers Group:
The Ivens Brothers works have always been a favorite of mine. It was their work in a show put on by Sculpture/Itinerant in the back streets of my home town that inspired my lifes work.
The Ivens Brothers, [Hilario and Emil], are the grandsons of Victor Ivens, a well known sculptural anthropologist of the last century. The two brothers have taken over the business from their father John Ivens who succeeded Victor. The Institute has commissioned their works since its inception in the 1990's.
In the notes on the sketches that follow - of five of the brothers' works, I attempt to describe a chain of enquiry that furthered my education in the Arts which in turn enhanced my perception of history and the human condition. I've listed as well, commission information to point out what the Inst. has gained financially from our involvement with these sculptures. Also how widespread their influence and appeal has been.

Gisco's Elephant
SIZE: 16'x8'x6'
USE BY Sculpture/Itinerant: Side panels louver up. We have a vendor inside selling sausage sandwiches [for the smell], or the scarf merchant, [color]. We have a howdah that we use sometimes - a person throws candy and fake money to the children.
COMMISSION INFO.; 7 comm.'d: 4 sold, 3 in Itin.

I adopted the name of Gisco when I started work at the Inst.. The story of Gisco comes from Harold Lamb's Hannibal, [Doubleday,Co.,Inc., 1958]. ....By then only a group of lesser officers and couriers remained with him [Hannibal] on the knoll across from Cannae. All of these watched the advance of the legions, obscured at intervals by dust clouds, almost unbelieving. One of them, a man named Gisco, shook his head and said."It is a most amazing thing to see such a number of men." Hannibal turned to glance at Gisco and the anxious faces around him. He said quickly, "I'll tell you something more amazing," they all watched him expectantly, wondering why he smiled at such a moment, "in all that number", Hannibal said, "there is no other man named Gisco." At that they all laughed, Gisco as well, partly because they knew that he did not have too bright a mind but mostly because Hannibal felt like jesting. .....the couriers passed on the jest, "Ay the latins count themselves by the tens of thousands, but there's no Gisco among them."

Odalisque 1 and,2
SIZE: 15'x15'x7
USE BY Sculp./Itin.: sides open, vendor; perfume, scarves and/or books info. stand
COMM. INFO.: 9 comm.'d,; [ 2 versions], 7 sold,2 in Itin.

NOTES; Odalisque [ o' da-lisk]n. Also o-da-lisk]
A female slave or concubine in a harem. [French from turkish o dalik, chambermaid; odah+ -Lik noun suffix]. American Heritage Dict.

The odalisque is a theme that has allowed the depiction of the female nude in her alluring aspect. see:
Jacque-Louis David, Portrait of Madame Recamier, 1800
Ingres, La Grande Odalisque, 1814
Corot, Le Repos, 1860
Bacchante, 1865
L'odalisque Romaine [Marieta]
Manet, Olympia, 1843
Goya, Maja, 1797

and on and on... Social mores change, at times the odalisque is risque , at others it is chauvinistic. The reclining nude is always a topic of fascination and conversation. I'm reminded of the story from the late 20th cent. related by Yoko Ono, {a pop idol of sorts], about John Lennon, [see: the Beatles]. She's taking him around her art exhibit - they come to a log with a can of nails and a hammer available. Her intention was for men to hammer in a nail thus penetrating with aggression the female wood and proving their barbarity or something. When she urged Lennon to have a go he said, "Can I just pretend to?"

SIZE; 16'x6'x6'
USE BY Sculp./Itin.: sides open, vendor of books usually, or food
COMM. INFO.; 10 comm,'d; 6 sold, 4 in Itin.

NOTES; "The Centaur. They were half man, half horse, and for the most part they were creatures, more like beasts than men. One of them Chiron, was known everywhere for his goodness and his wisdom." from: Mythology, Edith Hamilton [Little Brown and Co.1940]
Aesculpius reared by, great physician
Achilles, pupil of
Acteon, pupil of
Immortal, yet died, wounded by Hercules, by mistake, allowed to die by Zeus rather than live forever in pain. Centaurs traditionally represent the animal nature of men, to be subdued.
see: Lapiths: battle at the wedding of PirithoŘs king of the Lapiths.
Equestrian statuary...Greek, Roman, Chinese etc.
origins of: Mongolian tribesmen on their small horses?

SIZE: 20'X7'X7'
USES BY Sculp./Itin.: reading poetry,prose, giving speeches, singers, Imam. Side opens , bookseller inside.
COMM. INFO.; 5 comm.'d; 2 sold, 3 used by Itin.,1 used here.

NOTES; A podium always seems to come in handy. First commissioned by Monroe, Agent/ Curator 1st class from John Ivens. Monroe more or less began the Inst.'s relationship with the Ivens Group. We make quite a few of the Ivens Brothers sculpture in our shops here.

SIZE; 30'x8'x8'
USE BY Sculp./Itin.: height usefull in shows, solar panels on side provide charge to batteries within base for illumination. It has many different name plaques, Homer , Bob etc. that we can use depending.
COMM. INFO.; 8 comm.'d, different heights and sex; 6 sold, 2 in use Itin.

NOTES; pose reminiscent of, Death of Socrates, David, 1787
see: Socrates
The single figure on a pedestal, see: heroes etc.
Our house name for Sculpture/Itineran, "The Joan D'Art Foundation" comes from the idea of the hero. One person following a dream etc., against all odds etc.

The Lovers Fountain
SIZE: 21'X6'X6'
USE BY Sculp./Itin.: This one provides noise/ trickling water, we also use it to dispense wine, beer, juice etc. when needed. has recirculating capability.
COMM. INFO.; 10 comm.'d, various heights,: 8 sold, 2 used by Itin.

NOTES; see; dionysus, bacchus, Romance, Mythology, Edith Hamilton
The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco
the romances of Raphael Sabatini, Shakespeare, the Bible.....

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