Maria Martins. The Impossible, III. 1946

Maria Martins The Impossible, III 1946

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 401 The David Geffen Galleries

The spiky tentacles reaching toward each other in this bronze sculpture are locked in an embrace that suggests both opposition and attraction. “It is nearly impossible to make people understand each other,” Martins said, a feeling that may be the source of the interaction depicted here. Between 1944 and 1949, Martins made several versions of this sculpture in different sizes and materials, parts of a larger body of work characterized by writhing, plantlike forms.

Gallery label from Collection 1940s—1970s", 2019
Additional text

Their spiky tentacles reaching toward each other, the male and female forms in this bronze sculpture are locked in violent opposition. "It is nearly impossible to make people understand each other," Martins said, suggesting the source of the aggressive interaction depicted here. Between 1944 and 1949, she made several versions of this sculpture in different sizes and materials. When a plaster version was exhibited in 1946, a Time magazine reviewer said it "looked like a disagreement between two anthropomorphic snowstorms."

Gallery label from Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, March 14–July 9, 2012.
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
31 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 21" (80 x 82.5 x 53.3 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
138.1946
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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