White Greek Marble
7 ft. 3 3/4 in. x 23 in. x 19 1/2 in. (222.9 x 58.4 x 49.5 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© The Estate of Alfred Hrdlicka, Vienna
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Alfred Hrdlicka is one of several Austrian artists represented at Storm King, including Fritz Wotruba, Hrdlicka’s teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1953 to 1957. Hrdlicka, in contrast with Wotruba, insisted on using his artistic tools to expressive rather than formal or naturalistic ends. Concentrating on the male figure, predominantly the torso, Hrdlicka had been developing a “body language” based on expressive contortions and sagging flesh—a vocabulary he had studied as a “professional voyeur” in the meatmarket halls and bars where he earned his living while studying in the Academy. The figure in Golgatha is typical of Hrdlicka’s style of the period, its limp muscles suggesting that the body is no longer alive. The work takes its name from a hill outside of Jerusalem, a biblical reference to the site of the Crucifixion.