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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Adriana
Date: 1950-57
Medium: Copper
Dimensions: 21 x 28 x 17 inches (53.3 x 71.1 x 43.2 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Arthur and Susan Goldstone
Object Number: 91.063
Label Text: Saul Baizerman was introduced to direct metal sculpture while studying in Paris in 1925, and after returning to New York, he decided on a technique of beating sheets of copper from both the front and back to produce beautiful figurative forms. The resulting sculpture gave an impression of substantial mass, although hollow and made of thin metal. This technique also enabled Baizerman to capture the feeling of endless movement by creating gently rolling rhythms, similar to those found in the natural landscape. Adriana is an example of such a sculpture, using both mass and empty space to give the illusion of solidity while conveying graceful movement. Baizerman's technique was arduous and often painful. He hammered at copper sheets so hard that he was often knocked to the ground by the rebound of his hammer blow. The constant hammering and banging of metal on metal damaged the fine motor control of his hands and impaired his hearing, while the exposure to the poisonous oxides from soldering metal eventually led to his fatal cancer. Baizerman felt this to be an essential part of his creative process: "How do I know when a work is finished? When I am weak and it is strong, the work is finished." (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.