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Erectile

© Estate of Pol Bury / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Pol Bury / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Pol Bury

Belgian, 1922-2005

Erectile, 1963

aluminum on wood panel, motorized relief

overall: 39 1/8 x 19 3/8 x 11 1/2 inches (99.38 x 49.21 x 29.21 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Mrs. Nell E. Wendler and James S. Ely, Jr. in memory of our Mother, Nell Schoellkopf Ely Miller, 1995

1995:16.6

More Details

Inscriptions

inscription / back, upper left / 50.19:72
signature, undated / back, upper left / POL BURY
inscription / back, upper left / HAUT

Provenance

Galerie Iris Clert, Paris;
sold to Nell Schoellkopf Ely Miller, ca. 1963;
to her children, Mrs. Nell E. Wendler and James S. Ely, Jr.;
donated to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, December 18, 1995

Class

Sculpture

Work Type

Sculpture (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

An early protagonist of Kinetic art, Pol Bury explored painting, drawing, and sculpture, as well as jewelry-making, public fountain commissions, and experimental film. Bury discovered his path only through successive encounters, influences, experiments, and failures. He was initially inspired by Surrealism, a movement whose practitioners sought to channel the creative potential of the unconscious mind. In 1952, however, the artist abandoned painting after discovering the work of Alexander Calder, whose mobiles, set in motion by air currents, were a revelation for Bury. He began making sculptures with parts that slowly twist, tilt, or spin. The finger-like aluminum tendrils that protrude from a wooden panel in this work are powered by a concealed motor—an element of surprise that is undoubtedly connected to Bury’s Surrealist roots. Their sluggish, fidgety stops and starts can have an unsettling effect, perhaps like something out of a science fiction narrative.

Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018

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