William King (b.1925) Figurative Sculpture - The Test, Assembled Kinetic Modernist Sculpture Puzzle Construction
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William King (b.1925)
The Test, Assembled Kinetic Modernist Sculpture Puzzle Construction

1970

About

"The Test," 1970 Aluminum sculpture in 5 parts. Artist's cipher and AP stamped into male figure, front, 20 5/16" x 12 1/2" x 6 5/7" (approx.) American sculptor King is most noted for his long-limbed figurative public art sculptures depicting people engaged in everyday activities such as reading or conversing. He created his busts and figures in a variety of materials, including clay, wood, metal, and textiles. William Dickey King was born in Jacksonville, Florida. As a boy, William made model airplanes and helped his father and older brother build furniture and boats. He came to New York, where he attended the Cooper Union and began selling his early sculptures even before he graduated. He later studied with the sculptor Milton Hebald and traveled to Italy on a Fulbright grant. Mr. King worked in clay, wood, bronze, vinyl, burlap and aluminum. He worked both big and small, from busts and toylike figures to large public art pieces depicting familiar human poses — a seated, cross-legged man reading; a Western couple (he in a cowboy hat, she in a long dress) holding hands; a tall man reaching down to tug along a recalcitrant little boy; a crowd of robotic-looking men walking in lock step. Mr. King’s work often reflected the times, taking on fashions and occasional politics. In the 1960s and 1970s, his work featuring African-American figures (including the activist Angela Davis, with hands cuffed behind her back) evoked his interest in civil rights. But for all its variation, what unified his work was a wry observer’s arched eyebrow, the pointed humor and witty rue of a fatalist. His figurative sculptures, often with long, spidery legs and an outlandishly skewed ratio of torso to appendages, use gestures and posture to suggest attitude and illustrate his own amusement with the unwieldiness of human physical equipment. His subjects included tennis players and gymnasts, dancers and musicians, and he managed to show appreciation of their physical gifts and comic delight at their contortions and costumery. His suit-wearing businessmen often appeared haughty or pompous; his other men could seem timid or perplexed or awkward. Oddly, or perhaps tellingly, he tended to depict women more reverentially, though in his portrayals of couples the fragility and tender comedy inherent in couplehood settled equally on both partners. His first solo exhibit took place in 1954 at the Alan Gallery in New York City. King was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003, and in 2007 the International Sculpture Center honored him with the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. Mr. King’s work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Hirshorn Museum at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, among other places, and he had dozens of solo gallery shows in New York and elsewhere. Reviews of his exhibitions frequently began with the caveat that even though the work was funny, it was also serious, displaying superior technical skills, imaginative vision and the bolstering weight of a range of influences, from the ancient Etruscans to American folk art to 20th-century artists including Giacometti, Calder and Elie Nadelman. The New York Times critic Holland Cotter once described Mr. King’s sculpture as “comical-tragical-maniacal,” and “like Giacomettis conceived by John Cheever.”

Details

  • Artist
    William King (b.1925) (1925, American)
  • Creation Year
    1970
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Good
  • Condition Details
    wear and scratching to surface as is usual for this piece it will ship flat, unassembled.
  • Dimensions
    H 20.5 in. x W 12.5 in. x D 6.75 in.H 52.07 cm x W 31.75 cm x D 17.15 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    LU3822926181
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About the Seller

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Located in Bal Harbour, FL
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