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Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Wrestler

The Wrestler

A shining symbol of the American century

He’s known simply as the Wrestler, the vision made tangible by American sculptor Dudley Vaill Talcott (1899-1986), who cast him in the 1920s from the high-tech material of his day: aluminum. It was, as The American Architect magazine enthused in 1929, “a metal of this generation.“ 

And it was a sculpture of that century: the Wrestler was monumentally modern. Cast by the Cleveland Foundry of the United States Aluminum Company, the statue stood as a symbol of America’s emergence as an industrial power and its 20th century coming of age.

On display at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles (where an American wrestler captured the gold), the Wrestler’s intimidating 6’ 6”, 475-pound bulk awed and astonished. The statue today resides in The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, the inspiring “museum of thinkism“ in Miami Beach. Visit there and its looming presence may well awe you, as it has so many.

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