Dress Impression With Train

Karen LaMonte

American, born 1967

Dress Impression with Train, 2005

  • On View

Cast glass

Dimensions: 58 5/16 × 22 1/2 × 43 5/16 in. (148.1 × 57.2 × 110 cm)

Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation, L2017.143

According to Karen LaMonte she uses the clothed absent figure to investigate the tension between humanism and eroticism, the physical and the ethereal, and the body and the spirit. The sculptures are simultaneously substantial, with muscles and flesh that strain against fabric, and tenuous as the figures are absent, implied only by the shapes pressing against the clothing. The lifelike quality of Dress Impression with Train is the result of an elaborate process of casting glass. She starts by making a mold of a live model’s body. The mold is then used to make a wax replica of the form that is dressed in real clothing. Using the lost-wax process—an ancient technique used to make metal sculptures—LaMonte creates another mold of just the dress as it sits on the body. Large pieces of glass are placed on top of the mold inside an oven. As the oven warms, the glass melts and flows into the cavities created by the fabric of the dress. When the sculpture is complete you see a replica of the original garment with the imprints of the human model.

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