Two in One
247.6 cm x 726.4 cm x 340.4 cm (97 1/2 in. x 286 in. x 134 in.)
(New York, New York, 1912 - 1999, New York, New York)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Polychromed wood installation of nineteen elements
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the George Sugarman Foundation, Inc., 2003
George Sugarman came to art making relatively late in his life, but he was a real “artist’s artist”—someone whose commitment and talent were highly respected by his peers. A disciplined and inventive artist, he found some measure of critical and popular success, but he is best remembered by those who observed his tenacious working process and admired his idiosyncratic innovations.
A pioneer of modern sculpture, Sugarman moved sculpture off the pedestal and across the floor sooner than most. He was committed to color as an indispensable aspect of sculpture, experimenting with unusual and vivid hues that reinforced the mass and weight of his muscular forms. Like Stuart Davis, who was one of his inspirations, Sugarman was a student of jazz and sought lively visual corollaries to its atonal structure and syncopated rhythms. Davis’s painterly concept of simultaneity encouraged Sugarman to experiment with multiple and interchangeable sculptural forms.
Two in One is among Sugarman’s masterpieces. Looking like elements of an abstract painting that have spilled off the wall, nineteen joyfully painted, eccentric organic and geometric forms sprawl across the floor with palpable energy and determination, claiming the ground plane as an arena for raucous visual activity.