OUR FAMILY by Shay Rieger


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The author of Animals in Clay (1971) -- and other books of and on her animal sculpture -- turns to people in an attempt to combine a tribute to her immigrant Jewish family with a lesson in how artists go about interpreting individual characteristics and universal themes. This is an original and interesting notion but Ms. Rieger's verbal sketches of her relatives are so far from original or interesting that it's hard to derive the intended emotional reaction from her figures (most but not all of them clay), which are often so rough and ""elemental"" as to resemble eating, praying, playing, or dancing fetuses rather than fully realized people. It isn't hard, though, to understand the artist's in, tentions in each work -- grandfather's serenity, the communality of the family meal -- so that art teachers illustrating non-realistic approaches to representation might make a useful exercise of comparing the text, the photographs of the living subjects, the artist's sketches, and the photographs of her sculptures -- leaving their success open to discussion.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1972
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard