Arcimboldo sculptures by Philip Haas
The legacy of the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a representative of mannerism, the great Italian master who died at the end of the XVI century, is still alive. People who understand the art may remember a series of wonderful paintings of Arcimboldo, in which he depicted the seasons – wonderful characters made of seasonal vegetables, fruits and berries. Contemporary American film director and artist Philip Haas has created the installation The Four Seasons, which in fact, are the four huge sculptures of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Monumental three-meter sculptures, as three-dimensional paintings of Arcimboldo were first presented to the audience at London’s Museum of Fine Arts – Dulwich Picture Gallery in the summer of 2012, before embarking on a three-year tour of American museums and botanical gardens.
Aptly titled Four Seasons, the giant heads have all been created with organic material that’s native to each season. For example, in Winter, the skin is made from over-sized bark and the hair consists of gnarled tree limbs and ivy whereas for Summer, the human portrait is made out of bright bunches of flowers.
Philip Haas is an American artist and filmmaker. He’s presented solo exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, and the Gardens of Versailles in France. His paintings, sculptures, and films have been featured in installations in New York at the Sonnabend Gallery and Francis Naumann Fine Art.
Haas is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught in the visual arts and creative writing programs at Princeton University. He lives and works in New York and London.
Spectacularly transformed large-scale, fifteen-foot-high, fiber-glass sculptures of the four seasons accentuate the visual puzzle of natural forms—flowers, ivy, moss, fungi, vegetables, fruit, trees, bark, branches, twigs, leaves. They are recycled to form four human portraits, representing seasons. The result – this work of art in its own right.
Arcimboldo, Giuseppe (1527-93), Italian painter, active in his native city of Milan and also in Prague, where from 1562 to 1587 he was court painter to the Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand I and Rudolf II. He specialized in grotesque symbolical compositions of fruits, animals, landscapes, or various inanimate objects arranged into human forms. His paintings, though much imitated, were generally regarded as curiosities in poor taste until the Surrealists revived interest in such ‘visual punning’.