Mastery & Empathic Figure Drawing

Sigmund Abeles

Sigmund Abeles, Couple, SA/NL Fits Like a Glove, 1999, pastel on paper, 40 x 30 inches

Class Description

This class will focus upon intense observation of the nude figure. We will attempt to visualize the drawn figure from the get-go. Well composed drawings hold the viewer’s attention. Anatomy, proportion, structure, mass and weight, and light and dark are wrestled with all at once, as we tackle capturing the liv- ing essence. Line will be our chief marking element. You will study the masters, with an emphasis on Ingres, Lautrec and Degas, whose lines, searching and finding the description of form, provide an amazing sense of aliveness!

Gestural fast poses will often precede longer ones. Many poses will last the duration of one evening session—none longer. Learning how to make a promising start is as important as how to “finish.” We will work to incorporate a sense of totality in the initial mapping of each of our drawings. A wide variety of dry media may be used.

About the Instructor

Sigmund Abeles was born in New York City and raised in South Carolina. His work deals with the expressive and psychological aspects of the figure—an art focused on the life cycle. Drawing informs all of his work. Mr. Abeles works in pastels, oils, and the graphic media, as well as sculpture. Currently Professor Emeritus from the University of New Hampshire, after 27 years of teaching, Mr. Abeles works full-time in his New York City and upstate New York studios. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and is a National Academician. His work may be found in many public institutions including (among others) the British Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Fogg Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Philadelphia Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2000, a successful solo exhibition was held at Thomas Williams Fine Arts, Old Bond St., London, UK. In 2004, the Pastel Society of America in New York awarded him as their Hall of Fame Honoree. In 2011, he was guest curator for An Artist’s Eye, an exhibition selected from the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina’s permanent collection of 20th- and 21st- century art. Concurrently, It Figures, a solo exhibition of his work, was held at the Columbia Museum of Art. In the same year, another solo show, Drawn to the Figure, was mounted at the Kalamazoo Art Institute. In January 2012, Mr. Abeles was prominently featured in Manfred Kirchheimer’s feature length documentary, Art Is…The Permanent Revolution, which focused on the methods of printmaking and the history of the art of protest in prints.

Stay connected