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Gabrielle Rossmer

Rigid Mobility 
During my undergraduate years at Brandeis University, there was one professor of Art History who was like no one else. Leo Bronstein, born in Warsaw, educated in Paris, immigrated to the United States, was said to think in three languages simultaneously; the thoughts started in Polish, and moved through French into English. In the somber and literal intellectual atmosphere of the late ‘50’s, Bronstein was a singularly metaphysical, non-linear, poetic and deeply philosophical thinker. I always remember his conceptual juxtaposition of mobility and stability (also called rigidity). The example I remember is of Egyptian Kings and Queens on their thrones, with arms planted on the arms of the seat. The figures – in all their rigidity – contain within them the moment of springing into action!

...the decisive moment of a just-opened dike when the quiet
waters of the upper level at the point of emptying are no longer
quiet, immobile, nor as yet in full movement, in movement al
ready. It is this effort or this instantaneity of a movement-about-
to-be, which mobilizes the (immobile)…*

With this body of work, I thank Leo Bronstein for all that he opened up and suggested to this eager undergraduate. Very early influences remain and I delight in the chance to acknowledge this, decades later.

This work uses traditional materials as I often do. As much as I admire the transformation of stuff into other forms, I am challenged by using sculptural materials that have been used through centuries, but using them in new ways.

I view the color in this work as a sculptural element. The color changes our perception of the form in some instances. In other it enhances or defines the form. It definitely feels like making paintings, but ones in which the sculptural form is part of the painting.

Finally, this work represents my efforts to integrate figures and bases to the point where the figure and the base achieve equity to the degree that the bases adopt figurative dimensions. 

*Romantic Homage to Greece and Rome: My Fable Their Art, Leo Bronstein.
1993, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK) p. 83

October 2015