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Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The vast range and richness of Duckworth's art are the result of her study of objects and techniques from cultures prehistoric to modern. Assimilating and synthesizing these influences have given her a visual language that embodies truth to materials, formal purity, and radiant physicality.

Duckworth's oeuvre, though always imbued with her personal vision, is nonetheless rooted in the European modernist aesthetic that had developed a generation before. Her art shares formal affinities with the work of early twentieth-century modernists Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Isamu Noguchi-artists she admires greatly. Ethnographic sources as diverse as ancient Egyptian, Cycladic, pre-Columbian, and African have inflected her imagery-the same reservoir of sources that the pioneering modernists dipped into. She also shares with them certain themes: the investigation of human relationships, the majesty and mystery of nature, and the spiritual quality that emanates from abstract forms. In all of her work Duckworth evokes the overt primitivism, radical simplicity, and spatial precision characteristic of key modernist works.

  Untitled [bird-form sculpture], porcelain, wooden beak, 2004.