Nike, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of victory who aided Zeus in his battle against the Titans. Often depicted as a winged figure, we know her best as the Nike of Samothrace (or Winged Victory), one of the finest examples of Hellenistic sculpture and a highlight of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Saul Baizerman’s academic training—in Russia as a young man and later at the Beaux Arts Institute in New York—introduced him to such mythological themes and to the idealized human figures of classical sculpture, which he explored extensively in his mature work. Subtly molding his forms from huge sheets of copper, he reinterpreted these beings in the stylized, sleek “moderne” sensibility of the 1950s. The copper fabricating process allowed Baizerman to endow his figures with an immediacy and vitality that he felt unable to attain in bronze. Indeed, this Nike seems nearly ready to rise up in flight.
© 1998 Walker Art Center