Joseph F. Askew:
Sculpture "Unicorn" (2015), Version in Bronze, White, Partially Gilded


Joseph F. Askew:
Sculpture "Unicorn" (2015), Version in Bronze, White, Partially Gilded

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ars mundi special edition | Limited, 49 copies | Numbered | Signed | Foundry stamp | Edition in bronze, white | Patinated | Polished | Partially gilded | Format 36 x 40 x 12 cm (H/W/D)

Joseph F. Askew: Sculpture "Unicorn" (2015), Version in Bronze, White, Partially Gilded

This motive is hardly typical for the phantastic realism and at the same time refers to the history of arts: Askew's Unicorn in its shape and position is similar to the horses in works of Leonardo da Vinci and Theodore Gericaults.

Edition in bronze, lost wax casting. Polished and painted in white by hand. Plated with 24 carat gold. Numbered, signed and punched with the foundry stamp. Format 36 x 40 x 12 cm. Special ars mundi edition of 49 copies.

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In the middle of 1970s the American painter and sculptor Joseph F. Askew, being just a 25-year-old student of the Art Students Leagur in New York, moved to Vienna to learn the new painting techniques with the master of pahantastic realism Ernst Fuchs. Askew and Fuchs remained friends and were even neighbours for long years: the American artist moved to Vienna for half a century and later, he, like Fuchs, moved to the art center Castillon on the Riviera, where he lives and works till now.

Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.

A plastic work of sculptural art made of wood, stone, ivory, bronze or other metals.

While sculptures from wood, ivory or stone are made directly from the block of material, for bronze casting a working model is prepared at first. Usually it is made of clay or other easily shaped materials.

The prime time of sculpture after the Roman antiquity was the Renaissance. Impressionism gave a new impulse to the sculptural arts. Also the contemporary artists, such as Jorg Immendorf, Andora, and Markus Lupertz enriched the sculpture with outstanding works.

An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

Bronze casting:

When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

Related links:
Sand casting

Graphic or sculpture edition that was initiated by ars mundi and is available only at ars mundi or at distribution partner licensed by ars mundi.