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"I have endeavored to capture and create the memory, the intimacy and pathos of a fleeting moment; an impressionistic touch on a classical, realistic figure."
Jean Rado-Thorso, born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received her degree in Fine Arts from the University of Iowa and continued her studies in printmaking and sculpture at the New York Art Students League, L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Geneva, Switzerland, Art Center School, and Otis-Parsons in Los Angeles. During the past twenty years Jean has lived and worked in Michigan, New York, Japan, Switzerland and France.
Finding nothing in nature as perfect as the human form, Jean Rado-Thorso coalesces her strong sculpting abilities and her extensive knowledge of anatomy to create bronze sculptures of poetic beauty. "I think of sculpture of the human form as an equation," Jean explained. "The human body is equal to the sum of the parts which is equal to nature’s total perfection. It moves, thinks, talks, has ideas - it is the most perfect thing ever created in total function."Jean considers sculpture the ultimate art form, the ultimate artistic discipline. "The impressionistic painters created people like delicate windblown flowers existing on a single plane," she said. "Sculptors don’t have the luxury of a few strokes of paint to create an image. The sculptor needs knowledge of anatomy to make the figure walk, bend, move and stand correctly in a given space."
A great sculptural challenge for Jean was "The Olympiad," inspired by an exhibit of ancient Greek sculpture. The figure is just the torso presented in the classic style with a patina of blue/green and black spotting, creating the illusion of age. "The Greeks honored the human figure, especially the male figure. I decided it was time for me to try a torso, to try to somehow capture the beauty of the form without having the arms and legs."
"I love the idea of creating a piece, even though sculpture is frozen in space, I want it to breath and move and sometimes tell a story." More typical of Jean’s sculptures is "The Letter," in which a nude woman is sitting on the ground with a letter beside her. In "The Letter," Jean said, "She is sitting there telling a story. She has a small smile on her face, the letter is there but we don’t know whether she just received it or is about to send it. There is a musical rhythm to my sculptures that make them more than still and dead. I try to give the viewer a sense of interacting with the figure without having to tell a strong story line. I want only to suggest, while really letting the viewer and the owner create their own stories."
Most of Jean’s figurative sculptures are nude. "When you’re working with the body," she said, "it is already so perfect that clothing is totally unnecessary, its like gilding the lily." Occasionally, however the type of figure does demand clothing. For example, it would be unlikely for a ballet dancer to be dancing about the stage withut a costume. "For a clothed figure you have to create the nude figure first," Jean explained," because if the body parts aren’t coordinated the clothed figure just won’t work. To do a clothed figure, I’m almost doing two separate pieces."
Thorso's work has appeared in juried shows throughout the country, in the Brooklyn and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and is represented in corporate and private collections worldwide.