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WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY SCULPTURE TOUR

New Being

. . SCULPTURE TOUR
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New BeingArtist - Jose De Creeft
Born - 1884
Died - 1982
Origin - America/Spain
Year Built - 1967

About the Artist:  A native of Spain, Jose de Creeft began his training early in life, apprenticing in a bronze foundry in 1896 and later training with Don Augustin Querol, a government sculptor, in 1900. He left for Paris in 1905, studying briefly at the Academie Julian. De Creeft broke with his training in modeling and casting in 1915 with direct carving of wood and stone. Through direct carving, his desire to preserve the natural qualities of the material met his interests in the sculptural arts of Pre-Columbian America and Africa. De Creeft began exhibiting regularly in modernist exhibitions such as the Salon d'Automne between 1919-28. He moved to the United States in 1929 with his reputation as a direct carver already secure and had his first solo exhibition at Feragil Galleries in New York. He began teaching relatively soon after his emigration at both the New School for Social Research from 1932-48 and the Art Students League from 1944-48. De Creeft earned United States citizenship in 1940.

De Creeft never lost his interest in casting despite the strong appeal of direct carving. New Being is a brass casting that retains the rough textures of the red Spanish marble version (Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, New York). The smooth yet angular feminine figure emerges from the rough-hewn stone around her as though born from her igneous surroundings, an interpretation reinforced by de Creeft's title. New Being possesses a distinctive Pre-Columbian character, possibly the inspiration of the Mayan Chac Mool figures at Chichen Itza, which also influenced Henry Moore.