'Working drawings' to scale, interrogative not merely descriptive, meditations on form, serving as conceptions. Some are pictures, but anticipate carvings by opening up the two dimensional plane of the paper. Drawing is a parachute, the descent into matter, evidence of vision, virtual reality, the crystallizing of sensibility. If one can't draw one can't see, then what on earth is one about to do? Without a conception, what kind of expansion can there be?

Virgin and Child after Veit Stoss, ca.1510.
An extraordinary image expressing the union of opposites, conceived on the cusp of the Northern Renaissance. Her face derives from stone carvings of the gothic cathedrals, but the high forehead and plucked eyebrows belong to a woman of her time. The face is a mask, its quality of inwardness suggesting the world of Buddhism touched by the Holy Ghost. Her crown prefigures the tortured twistings of the crown of thorns. From one side she has the profile of an old woman, the drapery falling in featureless passive folds; from the other, she has the face of a young girl, the drapery active, dynamic, lifted and tossed about by the force of an unseen wind. The drapery is everywhere symbolic, moved by divine energy, full of conical chalice forms signifying her rôle as perfect vessel. On her right hip are curious folds resembling female genitalia external to her inner body. The child with tightly coiled spiral ringlets and radiant expression is a little sun god.
A working drawing for a still unfinished carving in limewood.


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