American, born 1935
Rusted and welded steel
63½ inches high
Richard Hunt uses sculpture to express his seemingly divergent interests in science and art, transforming found metal parts into anthropomorphic forms. Hunt was determined to be a sculptor from the time he was a student in the School of Art Institute of Chicago. The present work, created in 1958 when he was just 23 years old, incorporates motifs and structural elements that have continued to appear in his subsequent work.
Hunt worked in a biology laboratory to support himself through school, and his early figural sculptures — such as the present work — clearly reflect that experience, evoking the image of anatomical models created with cast-off pieces of the industrial age. This sculpture has robotic characteristics that remind us of the source of Hunt’s materials. More than 60 years after Hunt began working in this vein, we are much more aware of the masses of metal waste created by our industrial world. Hunt’s interest in repurposing discarded materials and giving them new life in sculptural form was present from the very beginning of his career.