LARGER THAN LIFE
David Kasman kicks off his first solo show at the Copley Society, “Continuum,” in dramatic fashion. Larger-than-life sculptures will dominate the space, their forms magnificent and brutish. Smaller, accessible bronze pieces will round out the collection, mirroring the coarseness and motion of their large-scale counterparts.
You may be familiar with the public work of Boston area native Kasman. His towering 2011 “Resurgence,” which perches regally in front of the José Mateo Ballet Theatre at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square, captures a ballerina en pointe, her left leg raised in a perfect arabesque, her chest full and proud, her arms cast joyfully above her head. Kasman himself is a longtime student of ballet. The reverence he has for the practice, his awe of the athleticism and the grace of the performers continue to inform his work as a sculptor and painter.
Those who dread the caricature of a dainty, fragile ballerina should fear not. Kasman’s women — and the occasional man — are rugged and robust. Their muscles are their chief characteristic, bulging and arching, and sturdy. Their joints froth
with energy, their poses capture the very fragment of stillness before an explosion of motion. These women don’t glow, they sweat. “I needed to show the strength of these women,” Kasman says. “I wanted to make them a little brutal looking.”