Tim Holmes, Sculptor
Catalog essay by Sergei Androsov,
Director of Modern Painting and Sculpture,
Department of Western Fine Arts of the Hermitage

At thirty-eight, American sculptor Tim Holmes is just beginning his creative journey as an artist. But he already has achieved the maturity and originality of a master.

The starting point for Holmes was the art of August Rodin, one of the classics of 20th Century art. One can easily see in Holmes' bronze sculptures a similar feeling for form and texture, and the same expressiveness in each treatment. But the similarity of Holmes' works with those of the great master are not just seen in form. Holmes knows how to shape his works in such a distinct way that they express a creative spirit that only a master like Rodin can capture.

The Healing Touch is one example. Of course, the sculptor had Rodin as a starting point, but he interpreted the form in a more elegant and refined way. The fingers of the hands seem to be not only real but animated, and the metamorphosis into birds taking off does not surprise us. If Rodin's Hands of God create a man with his flesh, Holmes' The Healing Touch shows his soul, the invisible but very important part of his personality.

In his best works, Tim Holmes expresses his feelings with great sincerity and openness. At first, the works seem to be spontaneous, reflecting the momentary inspiration of thought. It seems that these images are created easily and freely in the consciousness, and are immediately shaped into plastic forms. One example of this apparent spontaneity is Rhinemaiden II, depicting a mermaid, a daughter of the full-watered river, a character from Wagner's opera, Gold of the Rhine. The feeling of merging with nature, the joy of existence, is expressed with exceptional depth.

Song of Another Voice is another artwork of this kind. Here the artist's thought, just like this girl caught in a swift movement, seems to be momentarily inspired and immediately shaped into a form of almost heraldic perfection and distinctiveness. (It's not accidental that you can find the silhouette of this figure on the business card of the artist.)

In the majority of his works, Tim Holmes appears not only as a sculptor but also as a philosopher. The expression of only external forms of the world around us does not leave him satisfied. In a certain way he is creating a new world, trying to look into the usual and unusual in this world. (The Id and the Odd is even the name of one of his compositions.)

In this world, impossible events can happen. Sometimes you can even shoot an angel by mistake. But whatever subject the sculptor takes, tragic or whimsical, he finds a clear and expressive interpretation for it. In the previously mentioned composition, a poignant effect is achieved by juxtaposing the stooped figure of a gunman, realistic and mythic, with an angel lying on the ground, whose flittering wings are full of fantastic power and strength.

Sometimes the language of form seems not enough for Tim Holmes, and he adds to the meaning of the image with words. This author's comments do not simply explain or clarify the artworks; rather, they give a linguistic equivalent to the plastic forms. This inner voice of the creator is sometimes like poetry. The author's comments should be read while looking at the sculptures, and should enhance the thoughts expressed in it. But they leave a lot unsaid.

"An important element of my sculpture is mystery, which I find unsettling both to viewers and to myself." This is how Tim Holmes himself describes his creative art, and this comment reveals a lot about his artworks. They are created to stimulate the perceptions of each person. Everyone is moved by the images of the author according to his imagination. The sculptor plunges the viewer into the game, makes him think further than the author of the art work, and calls not only to his emotions but to his intellect.

I believe our discovery of this searching sculptor is very interesting. It is delightful to find on the other half of the globe (Tim Holmes lives in the state of Montana, in the northwest USA) a person whose language is so familiar and understandable to us.

Sergie Androsov, 2012

Sergei Androsov, 2012, Hermitage Museum

Timeless art for troubled times

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