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    Description

    Michael Cunningham (American)

    A Monumental Acrylic Sculpture: Galatea, 1978
    Acrylic
    216 inches (548.6 cm)
    Signed to lower edge M. Cunningham 1978



    Michael Cunningham, a Texas-based sculptor, created this magnificent Lucite sculpture by bonding sheets of Lucite with a chemical agent and finished the piece by carving and polishing, blending his conventional sculpting techniques with the modern thermoplastic material. At 15 feet, Galatea is an imposing, yet graceful abstract of two swirling masses, the inspiration of which came from the mythological Greek statue of a maiden who came to life and had a love affair with the sculptor Pygmalion. This sculpture was the focal point for the center of Atrium I at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas for some time.

    Cunningham has an academic as well as an artistic background having served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas after completing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania while creating private commission masterpieces for major corporate and private clients. His one man shows at Baylor University created a sensation in the sculpting community and led to his receiving the commission for the Baylor University Memorial in 1996.

    In creating Galatea, Cunningham has brought forth the sensation of movement by refracting both natural and artificial light. In the accompanying photograph taken when the piece graced Atrium I at the world-famous Anatole Hotel, one can imagine how the sculpture is able to transform an entire space into a work of art that is magical and awe-inspiring. While Cunningham has worked with polished bronze for clients such as Exxon and Lomas & Nettleton, even in stone in a work for the City of Grapevine, this may be his finest, certainly his most complex and dynamic work.

    Indeed, Michael Cunningham's art has been cited in the literature of modern art in Modern Techniques in Sculpture by Wilbert Verhelst who noted Cunningham's work while completing a hanging sculpture for the University of North Texas. He has taught workshops on sculpture at Denver, Los Angeles and Taos, New Mexico where he has shared his techniques and insight into modern art and sculpture. In Galatea, he has created a seminal work that demonstrates the depth of his talent.

    Provenance:
    Valley House Gallery, Dallas (1978)

    Exhibited:
    The Hilton Anatole Hotel, Dallas, Texas









    Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,128

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