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Judith Shea, Without Words (1988)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
The elegant figures in American artist Judith Shea's work reflect her background as a fashion designer. The cast bronze dress and overcoat in Without Words are so lifelike in form that they actually serve as surrogates (substitutes) for human figures. The two bronze forms and the fragment of what appears to be an ancient marble head together reveal Shea's fascination with contemporary life and ancient cultures. The seemingly unrelated figures, the puzzling title, and the ambiguous meaning of this work suggest that the artist's intention is not to provide definite answers, but to imply the possibility of a story and provoke the viewer's imagination.
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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Judith Shea, Without Words (1988), from the curriculum guide The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A Garden for All Seasons, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1998.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009