The Urge to depict the human form is as ancient as mankind’s ability to draw and sculpt. Yet, when illustrated nude, it has attracted controversy ever since Man’s loss of innocence and subsequent eviction from the Garden of Eden. Contemporary America is especially ambivalent about the subject. At one extreme the nude is feared and looked upon with suspicion. On the other hand there are those who quest for a physical ideal at any cost. Even within the art world there is no consensus. Formalism has long been the dominant philosophy and figuration has been disdained by many for more than half a century. That fact not withstanding, there are artists like Ira Sapir who seek fresh insights as they explore this timelessly compelling subject.

Ira Sapir is a sculptor who exalts the human form in a dramatic, larger than life statement of coiled steel. His poised figures have powerful physiques of stylized muscle and sinew. Employing an innovative technique, Sapir weaves and layers thousands of feet of coiled wire onto metal armatures. Gradually, over a period of months the various muscle groups evolve with the circular motion of each coil flowing gracefully, one into each other. Ultimately, a heroic form emerges whose surface is soft and responsive to the touch.

Ira Sapir’s sculptures stem from classic tradition. They are dynamic, expressive figures that wrest the viewer’s attention from other distractions. Tracing the seemingly endless coils of one of Sapir’s figures, we admire the artist’s achievements and marvel at the beauty and dignity of the human form.


Untitled - male torso
Woven galvenized steel wire
45 x 22 x 15"

Untitled - female figure
Woven galvenized steel wire
29 x 12 x 6"



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