Howard Ben Tré (American, b. 1949)
United States, Providence, Rhode Island, 1987
Cast glass; lead, gilding, brass
H: 121.6 cm, W: 35.9 cm, D: 25.7 cm
87.4.57, 2nd Rakow Commission
A pioneer in sand casting and ladle casting in the United States, Howard Ben Tré began with small forms. Consistently pushing the limits of his knowledge, Ben Tré developed his ideas and his technique so that by the mid-1980s, he had begun working on a large %%scale%%. His sculptures, which often take the form of abstracted vessels, are inspired by elements of architecture and industry, such as columns, heavy %%stone%% fragments, ancient monoliths, and machine parts.
“The Dedicants contain two forms, the outer and the inner,” Ben Tré says. “These dualities reflect the way humans present themselves, the outward self and the inner, private self.” In Dedicant 8, Ben Tré creates visual tension between the shape of the sculpture, which is blocky and architectural, and its tactile surface and luminous color. A gilded base, as well as bars of carved and gilded lead inserted into the glass mass, transforms the object into an altarlike monument with ritual implications.