Online Lecture: ‘Wild (Wo)men, Commodified Forests: Matter & Myth in German Sculpture’ with Dr Ruth Ezra, 2 December 2020, 18:00-18:40 (GMT)

Join this virtual discussion of Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body, an exhibition of contemporary sculpture now on view at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. (Galleries currently closed.)

Dr. Ruth Ezra will be speaking on the matter, myth, and morphology of Varga Weisz’s sculpture and fielding questions from the public at a Q&A on Wednesday, December 2 at 6 p.m. GMT / 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST. Her pre-recorded remarks will also be available to watch on the website from November 25.

The event is free and open to all; please register online.


Early in her career, the contemporary sculptor Paloma Varga Weisz spent three years training as a limewood carver in Bavaria. Learning this traditional craft opened up new possibilities in her sculptural practice. It also connected her to the celebrated history of limewood carving in southern German art.

This talk begins by looking back half a millennium at limewood sculpture produced north of the Alps, c.1500. As we journey into the forested hinterlands of Franconia in search of trunks to carve, we will encounter other traditional materials that feature in Weisz’s art, such as clay.

But the forests of southern Germany provided sculptors with more than just matter. They were the stuff of myth: in their shadows lurked hairy wild men. It is against this background of a natural world at once commodified and mythologised that we will consider the formation and deformation of sculpted bodies such as Weisz’s Woman of the Forest (2001), Wild Bunch (1998), Bumpman (2002), and Deer, Standing (1993), among others.

Dr Ruth Ezra is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Southern California. She has received research grants from The British Museum, Villa I Tatti, Gerda Henkel Stiftung and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, among others. In 2017, she held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute.

Find out ‘Moore’ here (sorry, I had to include the pun…).

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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