For many artists, drawings serve as preparatory sketches for works in other media.
For sculptor Milton Sherrill, however, a recent series of drawings has been an end in itself.
“They’re simple line drawings, the idea being that less is more,” he says. “My sculpture influenced the drawings, not the other way around.”
Indeed, Sherrill’s drawings were inspired by his “Knowledge of Man I” and “Knowledge of Man II” series. These bronzes, many of which have an amber patina, possess a quality that evokes both the ancient and the futuristic. The heads are egg-shaped, recalling the elongated heads of Egypt’s pharaohs and queens as well as the headdresses of West African women while also suggesting creatures in a sci-fi movie. The bodies — spindly and angular yet round of belly — echo the shrouded figure in Martha Graham’s solo dance “Lamentation” and the sheathed royal women of ancient Egypt.
Working with pen and ink, Sherrill wanted to distill the sculptures to their essence.
“You get a sense of the form. It’s very simple, very powerful, clean. …You’re going to the core of the form and its work.”
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