“I want to place sculpture in the Twentieth Century. Great art has always been a part of the social scheme of its own particular era. It has attained vibrant meaning through functioning definitely in the life, surrounding it. The Greeks knew this, and the masters of the Renaissance.”
Obviously, Maurice Glickman, the only sculptor who has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship this year, knows it, too. And he plans to spend his year of grace in Greece and Italy studying the “great art” of his illustrious predecessors to prove the above contention. After several months of research among the friezes of the Parthenon and the figures of the Florentine Duomo, he will open a studio in Rome, where the fruits of his study will emerge in creative work.
“During the latter period I shall devote my time primarily to bas-relief,” he said, “in order to illustrate my theories of the relation of sculpture to architecture. That is the principle in which I am most interested. Sculpture in itself has little significance. It must be related to something. In the past it has attained grandeur through service to architecture for example, the works of Phidias, Donatello and Michelangelo. Modern sculpture, on the other hand, has departed too far from the era we live in. It has done much to broaden the aspect of the medium, but only in the abstract. It’s realistic, but it isn’t real.”
“I was not,” he said amusedly, “a child wonder. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember even having modeled mud pies with any poetic intent. It was not until I had left Rumania and came to this country in 1914, when I was twenty, that the opportunity for study arose. It is all a matter of environmental influence. A social change encourages art.”
Although his accomplishments are specialized, his interests are not. And he has even assured satisfaction for his penchant toward music by marrying a singer. Regarding the artistic potentialities of Palestine, he believes that the comparatively new freedom of the Jew will ultimately result in an important medium of expression. But for the present, a tradition is lacking. That, however, will come, as the social system which he considers so closely linked to such work will progress.
He evolved his own principles, and admits adherence to no particular school of the chisel. Tradition is his study, society his impetus, and a living art his creed.