Sport As Aesthetic Edgar Degas' Essay

Excerpt from Essay :



3. Rosa Serra's sculpture "Handball Player" and R.Tait McKenzie's sculpture "Joy of Effort" both use the human form to demonstrate the power of physical movement. McKenzie's piece focuses on a repetition of the image of a man in three action-based poses, a technique which gives the figure the 'illusion of motion'. Additionally, McKenzie emphasizes the musculature of the human body, paying attention to the figure's rib cage, calve muscles, and tensed back and forearms to demonstrate that he is in the midst of physical activity. The figure's body position further suggests action, and the manner in which the figure is repeated gives the overall piece a sense of harmony and balance -- as if the viewer is able to see the motion from its start through to its finish.

Serra's "Handball Player" takes a different approach to physical movement, instead emphasizing the overall unity of the piece through the repetition of curves in the elbow and knee. The piece also demonstrates the difficult and precarious physical position of this handball player who is poised in motion by the artist's placement of weight, wherein the majority of the piece's weight is in the bent leg, suggesting that the athlete is about to spring forward. This illusion of imminent movement is further increased by the athlete's body position -- reaching upwards, arm cocked to throw the ball -- and the exaggeration in muscularity of the athlete's body. Although there isn't the attention to detail in terms of musculature and the visibility of tendons and bones (as in McKenzie's piece), the physique of the athlete is implied, in part due to the way that light reflects off the contours of the sculpture's smooth surface.

Works Cited

Degas, Edgar. "Horses on the Course at Longchamp." Print 65.

Groth, John. "Tilting at the Ring." Print 23.

McKenzie, R. Tait. "Joy of Effort." Print 39.

Serra, Rosa.…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Degas, Edgar. "Horses on the Course at Longchamp." Print 65.

Groth, John. "Tilting at the Ring." Print 23.

McKenzie, R. Tait. "Joy of Effort." Print 39.

Serra, Rosa. "Handball Player." Print 48.

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