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circa 1945
20th century
104.5 cm x 168.8 cm (41 1/8 in. x 66 7/16 in.)

Mary Callery (New York, New York, 1903 – 1977, Paris, France) Primary

Object Type: sculpture
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Bronze with patina
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Hester Diamond, 1984
Accession Number: 1984.8

Mary Callery’s playful sculpture depicts two acrobats, one balanced atop the other. The elongated limbs and continuous forms of the two figures suggest their graceful, flowing movements and create a sense of airiness within the sculpture. Callery’s experimentation with the positive and negative spaces of sculpture reflects her close knowledge of modern art, gained firsthand through her friendship with and collecting of work by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, and others during the decade Callery spent in Paris before returning to New York in 1940.

Although better known today as a collector than as an artist, Callery exhibited her sculpture widely from the 1940s through the 1960s, executed public commissions at venues such as the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, and was a member of the summer faculty at the celebrated, experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

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