#115: All Passion Spent

(Mr. Gould sitting on the bench chair outside Glenn Gould Studio)

I hate figurative sculpture--with the exception of Rodin's brilliant Homage to Balzac (1891-1939), for which the sculptor modeled Balzac in his dressing gown, thereby making him look like a vertical slag-heap.,

The Glenn Gould statue--at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto's Canadian Broadcasting Centre--is by figurative sculptor Ruth Abernethy. It was commissioned in 1999.  Glenn Gould would hate it.

The sculpture depicts the private and deeply, engagingly eccentric Gould, huddled like a derelict on a park bench, swaddled up in his overcoat (with his absurdly ribbed gloves and tweed cap), so muffled by bronze outerwear you can hardly see Abernethy's laborious attempt at the depiction of the great pianist's sensitive face.  Clothes are way easier to sculpt than people.  

What's remarkable is how closed down the sculpture is, how lumpen, how inert it is.  The thing is an eternal affront to the pauseless soaring of Gould's mind.

The tangle in the photograph at the right is a better depiction of the artist--of any artist.  Creativity is a maelstrom.