This story was featured in the July 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine July 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine July 2012 digital download here. Or simply click here to subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
People always ask sculptor Anne Huibregtse, “Why cows?” To which she replies, “Why not cows?” When Huibregtse began sculpting her bronze bovines, she gave the beefy creatures three months to last as a theme in her unfolding oeuvre. But cows ended up capturing her attention for what has turned into years, because they have remained both a challenge and a joy to sculpt, she says.
The New York-based artist has a long list of reasons why cows rule her artistic domain. For starters, Huibregtse says, they lend themselves to treatments that are whimsical, funny, beautiful, mythical, and religious. But the sculptor believes there is even more to appreciate about their role in modern life as well as in art history. “The domestication of cows, and the meat and milk and fertilizer they give so generously to man, makes them truly man’s best friend,” Huibregtse says. “Man has been making images of bovines during every period of art history.”
This year Huibregtse was juried into the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale in Denver, CO, for the first time, and her engaging pieces attracted the eyes of art lovers for their originality. She employs her cows to portray a wide range of subjects. One piece references the rising and falling stock market. Another comments on the ubiquitous American pastime of watching television: three cows, fully three-dimensional on one side, and flattened into a two-dimensional version on the reverse as though seen through a TV screen.
One thing that distinguishes Huibregtse from other bronze sculptors is that she is involved in all of the phases of sculpting, both creative and technical. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, in 1980 with a degree in art, she worked for sculptor John Doubleday at his foundry in England and later joined the staffs of two New York foundries. These years of experience allow Huibregtse to keep her hands in each step of production. And her unique vision allows her to use cows, as one observer puts it, as emblems of American ideas while incorporating “her sense of humor—droll, amusing, very lyrical, and tongue in cheek.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the July 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine July 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine July 2012 print edition
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