Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Pudendolls in Bronze

Last Saturday (09/29) found me ambling around the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln MA. When I lived in Cambridge and indulged in hobbyjogging with a few other women, the sculpture park was a frequent pit (bathroom) stop during our long weekend runs on the Lincoln Conservation Trust trail system. In the summer, these runs were often followed by a cooling plunge into Walden Pond. Sorry about the brief nostalgic reverie, but hey, I’m old. It happens.

The DeCordova highlights contemporary sculpture with some pieces on permanent display and others as temporary installations. Sculptures in all media that refer to natural organic forms are the most appealing to me. Quite a few artists are influenced by the morphology of nature and incorporate such into their pieces to good – and sometimes disconcerting – effect. This is true of a number of pieces at the DeCordova.


Here’s Richard Rosenblum’s “Venus Vine.” I liked this quite a bit: a vaguely humanoid form incorporated into a woody vine. The vine is actually bronze, but presents believable botanical mimicry at a distance.

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Now these weird critters, which jauntily stood about a stone terrace in “Alice’s Garden,” had distinctively organic forms. Breon Dunigan is the sculptor, and the medium is bronze.

This is “Guardian” or as my friend who accompanied me called it, “The Pudendoll”

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“Listening Trumpet”

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And the appropriately titled “Torsion.” Truly sphincter-clenching.

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Here are the balls with a curl and the phallotrumpet looking at one another.

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Unfortunately, one of my favorite pieces, “Bob the Chicken,” (I don’t think that was its title but that’s what I called it) at the DeCordova was no longer in residence. However, Bill Griffith, the cartoonist of Zippy the Pinhead captured its essence in his 2001 comic strip and furthermore, made a Statement on Art:

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I’ll grant you that that Bob the Chicken was not exactly one of Nature’s endless forms most beautiful, but slavering devotee of bad pop culture that I am, there’s just something about big kitschy fiberglass chickens that does it for me.

Comments

  1. #1 Warren
    October 4, 2007

    Huh. The “pudendoll” and your comment about fiberglass kitsch reminds me of that ridiculously-obscene sculpture of an auto-thrusting penis from Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange.

    To be fair, I’ve wanted one ever since I saw it.

  2. #2 Doc Bushwell
    October 4, 2007

    If I recall correctly, in Burgess’ novel, Alex bopped the grahzny art n’ cat collector devotchka with a bust of Ludwig van. But Kubrick’s modification was truly inspired. That rocking motion afforded by the counterbalance of the testes was mesmerizing.

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