Woman with Mask by Sylvia Lefkovitz

15 × 2.5 × 3.3 inches
38.1 × 6.4 × 8.3 cm
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About the Work

The thick textured surface of this 15 inch tall bronze, green patinated sculpture of a woman, gives it an immediacy belied by the process of making. The woman, narrowed and stretched holds a mask lending narrative on the human condition to this solitary figure. Born in 1924, Sylvia Lefkovitz studied at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, Columbia University in New York, and at the Academie Julien in Paris. Lefkovitz moved to Florence in 1960, it was there that she discovered the classic "lost-wax" process in which the artist's wax prototype is used to cast a bronze sculpture. It was a perfect medium for her work, and she soon won Florence's Porcellino Award as Best Resident Foreign Artist. After a long series of Italian exhibits and retrospectives and two decades of awards and commissions in both Europe and North America, Lefkovitz returned to Montreal in 1981. She worked and taught there until her death in 1987. Major commissions include the eighty-figure "Divine Comedy" produced in 1963, as well as the "Fathers of Confederation," a series of ninety separate bronze pieces commemorating the 1967 Canadian Centennial. The massive five-figure bronze "Chorus" was a Montreal landmark for years, standing above the entrance to the Mies van der Rohe Westmount Square Complex. And eight bronze "Biblical Panels" in bas relief (inspired by Ghilberti's Bronze Doors on the Baptistery in Florence) recount several stories from the Old Testament. Sylvia Lefkovitz's life and work in both Italy and Canada were profiled in the National Film Board of Canada's documentary "In Search of Medea: The Art of Sylvia Lefkovitz." Lefkovitz frequently created unique bronze sculptures. This work is signed.

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