Bonded bronze and metal
Overall: 15 1/4 × 33 × 16 in., 21 lb. (38.74 × 83.82 × 40.64 cm, 9.5 kg)

The concept of flight as both freedom and surrender all attempt to open a metaphorical space into which the viewer can be seduced. This space allows for an examination of the psychic conflict which results from the desire to both belong to and resist a society which denies blackness even as it affirms.
-Michael Richards

On September 11, 2001, the thirty-eight-year-old artist Michael Richards was in his studio on the ninety-second floor of the north tower of New York City's World Trade Center. He perished that day in the terrorist attack that came to be known as 9/11, and the art world lost one of its most promising and gifted talents. A Jamaican American sculptor, Richards explored the history of the African American's struggle for civil rights in his work.

Remarkably, in 1999 Richards had completed a sculpture entitled Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, a life-size cast made from his own body in the guise of a Tuskegee Airman impaled by eighteen World War II airplanes, thus foreshadowing his own death two years later. Flight was a recurrent motif in Richards's sculpture. In Winged, feathers pierce casts made from the artist's own arms and the shadow behind the suspended form extends like the wings of a bird. Richards poetically described the idea of flight as "the idea of being lifted up, enraptured, or taken up to a safe place-to a better world."

Stand for artwork - S8 Bay K2 Shelf 2
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
"Michael Richards: Winged", Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA, January 24 - March 22, 2019

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