Agora Design Partnership | Design for Public Parks & Spaces

Women of Industry Series (Series of 8)

  • 13″ x 18″ x 8″ (shown)
  • Private collections
  • Years completed: 1987–1991

The five-foot-high version of Clock I in this series won the bronze medal in 2005 at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, the largest art show in France.

The Women of Industry series, executed between 1987 and 1991, adapts the futurist ideal to create female figures that, like those of the futurists, do not use models. Ovals, arches, and various curves, are employed to achieve the forms. The result is a group of women, who, in keeping with the attitudes prevalent during the industrial era, are not especially nurturing or warm.

Women, just as men, were pressed into service in early factories, enduring conditions that were both dangerous and dirty. One could argue that, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, much of women’s femininity was suppressed, and women were not allowed to exhibit much tenderness and maternal love. It was clearly a man’s world. One could also argue that men were not allowed much emotion either. The idea that men should get in touch with their “feminine” side only came about in the 1980’s.

Thus, these figures form a group of women who are feminine, but not very. The Embrace shows the most tenderness, showing two women with their arms around each other. Their arms, however, bend at 90-degree angles, and have planar surfaces. In addition, bronze, which has been used to exhibit extreme tenderness and love, as well as eroticism, is used here to express the opposite.

These figures were begun as maquettes between 1987 and 1991. The enlarged examples were done between 1991 and 2005. They were cast by Landowski Fondeur in Bagnolet, France, and Queoff Studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.