Curator's comments: Audio (:43)
Playful Sisters
(Family of Three)

1949
Chaim Gross

Mexican tulip wood
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
Smithsonian Institution Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966
With permission from the
Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation

Part of the appeal of Gross's works is that they exist as artistic fantasies. Figures are represented in positions that would be physically impossible to duplicate in reality but are convincing visual manifestations of the artist's imagination. This piece is also a good example of Gross's use of interlocking forms to achieve the effect of an upward spiral. At least four years prior to carving this sculpture, Gross made several preliminary drawings. Perhaps the sculptor had to wait for just the "right" block of wood before he could translate his ideas into three dimensions.

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