H.C. Westermann, Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea, 1958. Mixed technique, 143 x 96 x 36 cm, Collection of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Susan and Lewis Manilow Collection of Chicago Artists, 1993.34.
American artist Horace Clifford Westermann (Los Angeles, 1922 – Danbury, 1981) assembled a distinctive and singular body of sculptures. His works were predominantly made from wood through his masterly command of carpentry and cabinetmaking, yet he also used other techniques and materials such as metal, glass and enamelling with incredible precision. Without adhering to one particular style, Westermann was a maker of objects, of separate pieces: his sculptures, laden with meaning, often irony, result from the processing of experience, coalescing to yield specific fragments of reality.
Besides the sculptures, the show displays Westermann’s paintings, letter-drawings —in his correspondence with other artists, critics and friends— and series of prints, in which he applied vibrant colours to address themes such as an escapist, while critical depiction of the American scene; catastrophe, and fragility.
(Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago © Dumbarton Arts, LLC / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / VEGAP, Madrid, 2019.)