Jim West, Utter Despair, 2018
2′ x 1′ x 1’ (0.61m x 0.30 x 0.30m)
Collection of the Artist, Pittsburgh, PA
It is sometimes said, in the making of a piece of art, that technique alone is able to capture the essence of an object. It is not difficult to see this truth, in the case of Utter Despair, in the roughness of the modeling and expressiveness of form. Raw and unrelenting, it is unflinchingly emotional. It captures human drama in a way that is seen and felt and touched. In the tension and dejection in the twisting of the body, one can feel desperate anguish in the cupping of the head. It draws you in, but pushes back. In the figure, and the viewer, there is a sense of isolation.