Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Corrado Parducci - Detroit's master architectural sculptor
Corrado Parducci was possibly America's most prolific architectural sculptor, working, by his account, on or in over 600 buildings. I am producing a book, "Shadowing Parducci" that is an attempt to catch on paper what he did in clay, plaster, stone, terra cotta, bronze and wood. While reviewing his work many themes are presenting themselves and I think I'll respond to some of them here.
American art is frequently ambivalent about the place of Native Americans and their treatment in sculpture reflects this feeling. In architectural sculpture the use of both figures of natives and of their decorative elements was fairly widespread, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s. Parducci generated quite a few such images, many of them reproduced here.
During the 1950s (?) CP (as he is sometimes called . . ... by me) was commissioned to create a statue of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh to be placed on a rough fieldstone pedestal on Walpole Island, First Nations territory across the Canadian border from Detroit. Funding for the project fell through and all that remains of the project is the pedestal and the maquette that CP produced.
As always, feel free to drop me a comment if you wish more details on these works, or anything else.