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Hank Murta Adams

Gomer
1990
yellow glass and metal
29 1/4 x 17 3/4 x 13 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery

Hank Murta Adams uses cast glass to create powerful busts that are antiheroic, the antithesis of the traditional bust that is an idealized or naturalistic portrait of its sitter. Only cadmium yellow glass was available to Adams when he created the sculpture. The beautiful color clashes with the ugliness of the bust, heightening the tension. Adding further to its disquiet is the name "Gomer," which is associated with a bumpkin. Recalling something from science fiction, this thing seems caught in a moment of transition. Is it in the process of being created or is the creature dissolving to a former state?