Medium: Bronze with brown patina
Signature: Signed on base "M.KALISH 30" and with stamped foundry mark of MERONI RADICE/CIRE/PERDUE/PARIS
18.1 in. h.
1 in. h., mounted on a polished stone base
Road Worker, one of Kalish’s celebrated labor sculptures, captures a man mid swing with a pickaxe. Kalish was attracted to the rhythm of a worker’s movement, taking note of his tensing muscles before the moment of action. He conveys vigor and physical strain not only in the worker’s muscles, but in the detail of his face. Knowing the ennobling and forceful performance required, Kalish himself worked as a laborer in his youth in the machine shops of Cleveland. Explaining his working philosophy, Kalish stated “we must learn to create from the living present. In this great industrial age, tremendous heroic tasks are being performed, and it is here that we will find our greatest art expression. As I mingle among the workers in factories or in the open, I find them in their natural poses. Their bodies swing gracefully to the action, their muscles strain or relax in response to their task. In the performance of them there is strength and grace, while at rest there is a sense of rhythm and beauty that compares favorably with the great sculptural themes of the past.”
Published: Labor Sculpture by Max Kalish, New York, 1938, illustrated as number 15.
Type of Work: Sculpture