Gallery Artists > Andre Harvey Biography :

Andre Harvey (1941 - 2018)  Artworks >>

"André Harvey, Sculptor of the Natural World, Is Dead at 76," Obituary by Richard Sandomir, The New York Times, February 16, 2018 By 1969, André Harvey had been a writer and a teacher, but he could not envision continuing happily in either career. Then, on a yearlong trip abroad with his wife, Bobbie, he peered into an art gallery in Vallauris, France, and was struck by the abstract welded sculptures in the window. Sculpture, he told his wife on the spot, was what he wanted to do. But he had no artistic training. So he persuaded the gallery owner to teach him welding, and with his wife helping to make pottery in the gallery’s nearby studio, they were paid in meals. After Mr. Harvey returned to the United States, his education continued. He learned mold-making while working, without pay, for the noted sculptor Charles Parks in Delaware. The tutelage paid off. Mr. Harvey became a masterly sculptor of intricately detailed, realistic bronze figures whose works were exhibited by Tiffany & Company in its Fifth Avenue flagship store, have been collected by museums, and were purchased by Henry Fonda, Jamie Wyeth, Barry Manilow and Danielle Steel. Some of the sculptures are small. Some are enormous. Pigs, frogs and turtles are special members of his menagerie, but he also sculpted penguins, manatees, cows, goats and birds. There were depictions of humans, too, as well as a hornet’s nests, a ginkgo leaf and the dry fruits called samara. David Cole, executive director of the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Del., called Mr. Harvey a throwback to the 19th- and early 20th-century sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, whose gilded bronze monument to the Union general William Tecumseh Sherman stands in Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. And his belief in the natural world’s transcendence, Mr. Cole said, linked him to Thoreau and Emerson. “What defines his work,” Mr. Cole said in a telephone interview, “is that it is not only attentive to the forms of the natural world, but all his subjects seem to be alive. Even his plants seem to be pulsating.” Mr. Harvey, who died on Feb. 6 at 76 in Wilmington, produced one last sculpture about a year and a half ago: an oversize study of a daddy longlegs spider. On his website, where he described his sculptures, he wrote, “Early daddy longleg encounters stick in our brain and remain so embedded that, as adults, we can time-travel the long, dusty road back to our childhood.” His wife, the former Roberta Rush, said the cause of death was acute respiratory distress syndrome. Mr. Harvey’s wildlife models included a group of pigs at the New Bolton Center School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Kennett Square, where Ms. Harvey was a laboratory technician. He plied the pigs with corn so that they would be accustomed to his presence in their pen. One especially friendly sow routinely sat near Mr. Harvey and his portable sculpting table as if she were a paid model. That cooperative pig inspired the creation of Portrait Sitter, a tabletop 15-pound sculpture. It was followed by “Helen,” another sitting pig that weighed in at 400 pounds. “It’s not unusual for some of my larger subjects to take over a year to make,” Mr. Harvey told the website Town Square Delaware in 2011. “I guess the reason I study my subjects so closely for so long is I want to capture more than their look. I want to get their more elusive feel. To me, that is when a sculpture is successful, be it animal, human or object.” Mr. Harvey produced limited editions of all his sculptures. One of his 25 “Helens” was stolen from the front of the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa., in 1995. “We were afraid that it might have ended up in the Brandywine,” Ms. Harvey recalled in a telephone interview. “André said, ‘I’ll bet it was a bunch of drunk kids.’ ” The statue was rescued from a nearby barn several days later, and Pennsylvania state polic

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