Nude Descending the Stare Case
MATERIAL: other: foam with Luminore coating, stainless steel armature
DIMENSIONS: overall: 65 in x 16 in x 16 in
CREDIT: Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier
© Artist or Artist's Estate
Descending the brick wall of the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts is Frederick Morante's sculpture 'Nude Descending the Stare Case'. This sculpture is based on a smaller version of ‘Nude Descending the Stare Case’ that was on display in the Water Garden in the early 1990s. Morante's desire to increase the size of the work to nearly 7 feet was made possible through the use of digital technology wherein computers and specialized software allow artists to laser-scan and digitally enlarge models or smaller works. The digital models are then translated into foam by a state-of-the-art mill—the finished work retains all of the intricate details of the model while reducing the cost of production and the amount of time it takes to create a large-scale work of art. Morante's sculpture is fabricated in foam and is finished with LuminOre (liquid metal is sprayed onto the sculpted foam resulting in a work that is lightweight and weather durable).
Morante's female nude is rendered in a classical style. She finds herself situated in an unconventional composition and is seemingly engaged in a defining moment. For Morante, the unique placement of the figure is a characteristic feature in many of his works. The title is a play on words and an allusion to the similarly titled painting by Marcel Duchamp, 'Nude Descending the Staircase'. Morante proposes a tongue-in-cheek comment on the traditional objectification of the female nude as portrayed in art and social histories.