Truman Lowe (Winnebago) b. 1944
"Bird Effigy," 1997
Aluminum, 42" x 20' x 1 l'
The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Truman Lowe has established himself as an innovator in Native American sculpture. He has been able to successfully translate the elegance of traditional wood use by his Winnebago ancestors into his contemporary sculptures. He has masterfully created his monumental wood sculptures to echo the ancient ceremonial mounds and effigies of the peoples from the woodlands area of the United States. His sculptures capture the essence, beauty and spirit of these ancient forms.
For nearly a decade, Lowe has been experimenting with metal as a medium for his work. He began by creating small (averaging three feet in height) bronze pieces directly from his wooden pieces. He has also been pushing the limits of his monumental pieces by fabricating them directly from his designs using aluminum, instead of wood.
An example of this process is "Bird Effigy," a commissioned piece for The Heard Museum's building expansion. The large aluminum effigy has a 25211 wing spread and is reminiscent of the small delicate effigies made of wooden sticks woven together. "Bird Effigy" is made with aluminum "sticks" that have been welded together to create a "woven" etherial lattice work of silver. The large bird figure appears to hover above the ground.
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