Not Just A Sculptor


Paintings shown: Blue Horse, 1953 (top) and Family, 1953 (bottom)

Most people recognize Harry Jackson for sculpting such masterpieces as ‘The Marshal’, ‘Two Champs’, and the breathtaking ‘Stampede’ and ‘Range Burial’ duo, but before he was a world-renowned sculptor he was known as an up-and-coming painter. It was actually painting that got Harry started as a sculptor as he was trying to visualize in a three-dimensional fashion what he was painting. Back in 1956, before he’d done any sculpture, LIFE magazine published a nine-page photoessay about Harry Jackson titled “Painter Striving to Find Himself: Harry Jackson Turns To The Hard Way”.  It was about Harry’s apparent break with abstract expressionism and his returning to realism in his paintings.  If one looks at the paintings he did and the sculptures for which he’s become known, one can see that the works have a strong abstract underpinning made possible by his experience in abstract expressionism.  He didn’t return to realism, he moved forward to realism bringing all the lessons he learned as an abstract expressionist with him. 

Here’s a link to the full Life article about Harry and his art on Google Books 

Here is a link to the Life online photo archives showing the black and white photos from the article

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2 Responses to Not Just A Sculptor

  1. Jim Lawson says:

    I read in the Los Angeles Times this morning (May 1st) that Mr. Jackson passed away. Along with the story in the paper was a photo of him in front of the Great Western Savings building taken in 1984 when he was working on the John Wayne statue. I moved into the building in 1983 and I remember looking out the window and seeing the statue being prepared for the unveiling. I heard stories about the motor and the City of Beverly Hills not allowing the statue to rotate. Great Western Savings is no longer there…having sold the building years ago to Flynt Publications. However, I am still in the building, and there is a sense of peace and time and permanence that comes the with the statue and its enduring presence. And if there is any question about the statue and its place in the world, one only needs to see the tour buses that pull along the curb to allow the busloads of passengers to photograph and remember.

  2. Anne T. Williams says:

    Our Family is sad at the passing of Harry Jackson. My father was a boyhood friend of Mr. Jackson in Hyde Park Chicago. My father Percy Williams is now 88 and has often talked of Mr. Jackson and we had attended several of his shows. He was a great American Artist. We will miss him.

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