Mary Callery. Amity (study), (1946).
Tremaine Collection / Miller Co. art & design
2 April 2019 | Updated 24 February 2020
Mary Callery. Amity (study), (1946)
17 3/4 x 26 in.
The following is an excerpt from: Miller Company (Collection of Abstract Art). (1948). Painting toward architecture book accompanying exhibition (pp. 114-15 with photos of Amity (study) and Water ballet). (Essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; foreword by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; statement by Burton Tremaine; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine.)
"Much of Mary Callery’s sculpture seems to have been specifically designed for architectural use. The "Amity," which is enlarged to architectural scale in the finished work, could readily serve as a balustrade. Such a piece as "Water Ballet" is perhaps not so obviously intended for a particular position on a building. Yet the size and thickness of the glass plate suggest that it might well be installed in a transparent partition or above an entrance door. The rhythms of the tenuous metal forms— so simple, even structural, in themselves that they seem at first sight merely shapes in heavy wire— form a complex three-dimensional pattern in space. But the subtle modeling of the metal members also creates the illusion of figures in motion above and below the surface of water. This is emphasized by the difference in tone between the natural bronze on one side of the glass and the green-patinated bronze on the other side. Although cast in a heavy metal, the Callery sculptures seem almost as weightless and as full of motion as Calder’s mobiles. Yet they have the strength and stability appropriate to a physical adjunct to a building."
Mary Callery’s Amity (study) has been in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (linked webpage with photo of artwork) since 1977.
To learn more about Mary Callery’s Amity (study) since 1947, click the links to articles and exhibition compilations with documentation below.
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