Mastery & Empathetic Figure Drawing (online)

Sigmund Abeles

Sigmund Abeles, Conundrum, 1987, lithograph on paper, 34 x 24 inches

Class Description

This class will focus upon intense observation of the  figure. We will attempt to visualize the drawn figure from the get-go. Well-composed drawings hold the viewer’s attention. Anatomy, proportion, structure, mass and weight, and light and dark are wrestled with all at once, as we tackle capturing the living essence. Line will be our chief marking element. You will study the Masters, with an emphasis on Ingres, Lautrec, and Degas, whose lines, searching and finding the description of form, provide an amazing sense of aliveness! Fast gestural poses will often precede longer ones. Many poses will last the duration of one evening session—none longer. Learning how to make a promising start is as important as how to finish. We will work to incorporate a sense of totality in the initial mapping of each of our drawings. A wide variety of dry media may be used.

About the Instructor

Sigmund Abeles was born in New York City and raised in South Carolina. His work deals with the expressive and psychological aspects of the figure—an art focused on the life cycle. Drawing informs all of his work. Mr. Abeles works in pastels, oils, and the graphic media, as well as sculpture. Currently Professor Emeritus from the University of New Hampshire, after 27 years of teaching, Mr. Abeles works full-time in his New York City and upstate New York studios. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and is a National Academician. His work may be found in public institutions including the British Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Fogg Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

In 2000, a successful solo exhibition was held at Thomas Williams Fine Arts, Old Bond St., London, UK. In 2004, the Pastel Society of America designated him as their Hall of Fame Honoree. In 2011, he was guest curator for An Artist’s Eye, an exhibition selected from the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina’s permanent collection of 20th- and 21st-century art. It Figures, a solo exhibition of his work, was held concurrently at the Columbia Museum of Art. In the same year, another solo show, Drawn to the Figure, was mounted at the Kalamazoo Art Institute. In January 2012, Mr. Abeles was prominently featured in Manfred Kirchheimer’s feature length documentary, Art Is…The Permanent Revolution, which focused on methods of printmaking and the history of the art of protest in prints. In 2017, he received the Benjamin West Clinedinst Medal from Artists’ Fellowship Inc.

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