For two thousand years, masters such as Michelangelo and Rodin have impeccably wrought the human form’s splendid imperfections. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Mexican sculptor Robert Graham (1938-2008) has continued this tradition with his own modernist touch. Some of his most notable sculptures include numerous large-scale public commissions such as the Olympic Gateway depicting two headless athletes for the 1984 Olympiad in Los Angeles and the Joe Louis Memorial in downtown Detroit (1986). One of the Eight Statues, the cast bronze Elisa (1993) captures Graham’s flawless ability to blend classical forms with a modernist approach. He refers back to the renaissance masters of realism, yet Graham places her atop a flawless architectural column and base. In 2002, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles commissioned Graham to create The Great Bronze Doors for the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral entrance. Above these doors stands The Virgin Mary, a humanistic rendering of Mary without a veil, arms outstretched and strong hands welcoming to the masses. Until his death in 2008, Graham was awarded numerous international public art commissions, civic monuments, museum exhibitions, and gallery shows.
Great Bronze Doors. Our Lady of the Cathedral. Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 2010. Web. 14 Jan. 2011.
Robert Graham. Robert Graham Studio, 2008. Web. 22 Oct. 2011.