1 Eduardo Paolozzi
Shattered head (1956)
I was tutored by Eduardo. He would teach me every Wednesday after we first met at the RCA Foundry in Kensington,
Bust of Queen Nefertiti (1340 BC)
Sometimes beauty can mask character but the face of this Queen Nefertiti is mysterious - there is something quite odd about the eyes because they are different. When something is not quite right it makes you wonder more about the personality of the person. I like that beautiful harmony which is disturbed by those eyes, the sensuality of the mouth, those hollow cheeks and that very long neck. She's enigmatic and hides her feelings. The bust is so square, the facial forms are so soft and then suddenly you have the contrast with that severe crown, which is almost like a pyramid.
3 Auguste Rodin
Monumental head of Balzac (1897)
What I learned from the great Rodin is that you don't need to show the exact likeness of a face. Here he wanted to show the creative force of Balzac the writer. He exaggerated all the main facial features - the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the eyebrows, the hair - everything is too strong. But through that mouth, almost shouting, you get a real sense of this character. Rodin had been commissioned to make a full-length sculpture of Balzac and in preparation he did several studies of Balzac's head. When he came to do the body, he did it very simply. It's just a draped gown. So there is also that contrast with the way he dressed him at full-scale, and that very, very vivacious head.
4 Antoine Bourdelle
The French sculptor Bourdelle was a student of Rodin so he learned a lot from him, and also did a lot of monumental work. Again, here there's incredible hair which is almost not modelled, but swept off fiercely, and this face which is modelled but very expressive. The mouth is tight and the eyes are hollow, and it shows a tragedy. Because, I think, at the very moment that Bourdelle made a portrait of
Sleeping Muse (1910)
Through marble-carving Brancusi was trying to find simplicity in his work, and reducing his ideas to the minimum. This sleeping muse is a wonderful witness to his talent. I like the way her head is lying on the side. She's resting peacefully but she's almost held down by the weight of her head. Brancusi has done a lot of different versions, many in bronze, but it's the one in marble I like the most. Maybe because the whiteness reinforces the serenity of the face.
Head of Bruno (1917)
This is a portrait Giacometti did of his youngest brother Bruno, an architect. It's not what you'd expect from the master of thin, emaciated figures, but I love the way he shows the strength and willpower of his brother. Giacometti said: "The object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity." It applies so well here because it's more than just a realistic portrait. You get the whole person behind the man.
7 Germaine Richier
La Regodias (1938)
8 Jean Fautrier
Large Tragic Head (1942)
This is my favourite. It's the most painful and touching of all the portraits. Fautrier has made the two sides of the face totally different - one is much more classical, rational, the side with the eye; on the other he wanted to represent the inhumanity of man. Fautrier was part of the French Resistance during the second world war, and was under house arrest on the outskirts of
9 Marino Marini
Bust of Igor Stravinsky (1951)
I love his work, and the fact the face is modelled very simply, almost like you would do a mask. There is a feeling of death in that head, and yet at the same time there is a lot of sensuality. But then there is such sadness and understanding in the eyes; it makes you see the tragedy of life. I can feel the soul of the man. Marini said he preferred to do portraits of creative people because they don't have just one facet in their face but hundreds; and what is so difficult is to find the essence in the multiplicity. Here he shows the anxiety, the nervousness, the sensuality, he shows so much.
10 Giacomo Manzu
Portrait of Oskar Kokoschka (1969)
The modelling of the clay is quite sensuous, and then when you look at the hard lines on the forehead, and in the hair, there's a real contrast; you realise the face is intense with sadness. He's not making eye contact or engaging with the viewer. But Kokoschka was a very sad man. He had a very passionate affair witha married woman, which did not go well for him. When you look at Kokoschka's own paintings you can see the violence of expression and the sadness. It's perhaps no surprise that I have picked so many busts of artists here. When I sculpt artists and writers and actors myself, I am drawn to their multiplicity, as
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