Nasher Sculpture Center presents "First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone" closing day
"First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone" is the first museum exhibition to present ancient handaxes and figure stones as works of art. Traditionally understood as the longest-used tool in human history, the handaxe is equally fascinating for its non-utilitarian, aesthetic qualities. "First Sculpture" will present these objects as evidence of the earliest forms of artistic intention, highlighting the aesthetic qualities of each stone and providing crucial historical and scientific information to give the viewer a deeper understanding of human history, as well as an enriched appreciation for humankind’s early ability to sculpt beautiful objects. Whether carved from visually interesting stones or rendered at unusual sizes that would inhibit use of the object as a tool, a case can be made for the handaxe as the first sculpture our prehistoric ancestors conceived.
"First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone" is the product of a unique curatorial collaboration between Los Angeles-based artist Tony Berlant and anthropologist Dr. Thomas Wynn, Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated, scholarly catalogue published by the Nasher, with a central essay co-written by exhibition curators Berlant and Wynn, as well as a preface by renowned American scientist, Jared Diamond.