Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sculptor's detail is his strong point

By Jim Knippenberg
Enquirer staff writer

What: Tuska: Sculpture and Works on Paper
Where: Closson's Phyllis J. Weston Art Gallery
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, until 8 p.m. Thursdays, through Nov. 6
Cost: Free
Info: (513) 762-5510
Seth Tuska is on a mission: "I'm an artist and a structural engineer, but I've put all that on hold and I'm dedicating my life to telling my father's story."

His father is John Regis Tuska, the late sculptor (1931-1998) who achieved fame while teaching at the University of Kentucky. His sculptures and works on paper are now showing at Closson's Phyllis J. Weston Art Gallery.

"Handstand," a bronze, 36-inch male nude doing a handstand, is Tuska's signature piece and a work Seth loves talking about: "My father had a real passion for the human form, the muscle structure, the definition and he used the uneven surfaces to emphasize that muscle. This was my father's favorite piece."

"He really loved working in bronze because he was attracted to its permanence."

Tuska's other favorite piece is the pencil drawing "Sarah Backside," a seated female nude shown from slightly below the waist and focusing on the planes in Sarah's back.

Most every piece in the show is a nude figure - sometimes the whole body, sometimes just parts of it, but always with an emphasis on muscle and definition.

The beauty of his work is in the detail. Consider "Woman on a Baroque Couch" - "one of the few you'll find in clothes here."

The draped figure is hidden from the neck down, but Tuska incorporated such incredible detail in her face and the folds of her dress that you hardly notice.


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