Metamorphosis I

  • Stella Waitzkin, Metamorphosis I, 1974, cast polyester resin and sandstone with paint and wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Stanley Bard, 1977.123

Luce Center Label

Metamorphosis I is part of a series of works in which Stella Waitzkin placed masks within the pages of her ceramic books. This sculpture presents three serene faces in three separate volumes. One is open to reveal a passage written by the poet Wordsworth, but the artist obstructed some of the words with glaze and clay, making it impossible to read the entire quote. Waitzkin sculpted letters, manuscripts, envelopes and books, often avoiding the inclusion of words because she felt they could be manipulative and overly suggestive.

Luce Object Quote
"Words are lies. I make the books to get away from the word. When I make the books, I feel like I'm telling folk stories; it's all there inside the book. You don't have to necessarily read it, see, because you already know the whole thing by heart." Artist's statement
Title
Metamorphosis I
Artist
Date
1974
Location
Dimensions
7 7/8 x 7 3/4 x 9 in. (19.9 x 19.7 x 23.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Stanley Bard

Mediums
Mediums Description
cast polyester resin and sandstone with paint and wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure – fragment – face
  • Object – written matter – book
Object Number
1977.123
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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