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WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY SCULPTURE TOUR

Invocation

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InvocationArtist - Hugo Robus
Born - 1885
Died - 1964
Origin - America
Year Built - 1928

About the Artist:  Hugo Robus initially attended the Cleveland School of Art from 1903-07, before moving to New York where he studied at the National Academy of Design under Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) from 1907-09. Robus left for Europe in 1912 and studied briefly with the French sculptor Emile Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) at the Ecole de la Grande Chaumiere. After a year of study, Robus returned to the United States in 1914. He began teaching painting at Modern Art School in New York shortly thereafter. After leaving the school in 1918, he painted briefly, but by 1920 he devoted his time almost exclusively to sculpture.

Invocation was originally crafted in plaster (location unknown) in 1928-29. The plaster was first exhibited in the Sculptors Guild exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Robus's decision to create the figure in polished bronze was necessary to secure the structural integrity of the work and also because he "considered ours an age of metal." The androgynous figure of Invocation lifts its head to the sky, calling to a higher power. The streamlined, stylized anatomy conveys a plastic energy, an indication of what Robert K. Tarbell called the "universal life force."