A key figure of sculptural abstraction, Jene Highstein used bronze, concrete, steel and wood to create primal and organic forms. Throughout his fifty year-long career, Highstein’s sculptures experienced constant shifts in size. He was adept at creating artworks of immense and intimate scale.
Highstein’s quasi-manufactured sculptures create a dialogue between raw materials and biomorphism, while also stressing the importance of the object’s presence within a surrounding space and its impact on the viewer.
The solidity of Highstein’s sculptures complements the delicacy of his works on paper. His drawings of intense bone black pigment, charcoal and Chinese ink share the same processes as his sculptures. A frame is constructed through graphite and then covered with pigment, like the trowelling of cement over a steel frame. Highstein’s drawings exist independently of his sculptural mounds, spheres and totems.
The extensive archival component of the exhibition similarly reveals Highstein’s commitment to the experiential. With documentary photographs and film of his work this exhibition journeys into Highstein’s creative processes and the deep friendship that bound him to the collector and patron Jean-Paul Najar.
Fondation Jean-Paul Najar, 45 Alserkal Avenue | Al Quoz 1 | Dubai | U.A.E.