Early Stage of Proposal for General Mills Commission (Egyptian Beauty)

Accession Number

Early Stage of Proposal for General Mills Commission (Egyptian Beauty)

Jene Highstein

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
graphite on paper

22 1/16 x 24 3/4 in. (56 x 62.8 cm)

Credit Line
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the Nation Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services

Label copy
Jene Hightstein
United States, born 1942
Early Stage of Proposal for General Mills Collection
Graphite on paper

Subject matter
In this early-stage proposal for a commission for General Mills Collection, Highstein works in his characteristic fusion of Minimalist and organic form, scoring an ovoid, egg-like shape with a grid. The original plan as shown here was to stack and carve seven blocks of Canadian black granite each at 2’ x 2’ x 7’ into the proposed shape. The company, however, delivered blocks from different sections of the quarry, which resulted in the blocks behaving erratically when carved. The design of the sculpture had to be improvised as it went along, and so the drawing doesn’t resemble the completed work very closely.

Physical Description
Heavily worked and reworked pencil drawing on large square of grid paper. Form is an ovoid shape with longitudinal and lateral lines, thinner than it is tall, fit into a rectangular box that represents the block of stone to be carved. At the bottom right of the sketched image, Highstein has noted the dimensions (7’ x 7’ x 2’) x 7. Seven blocks of granite at 2’ x 2’ x 7’ were meant to be stacked and carved into the proposed shape.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
preparatory drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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biomorphic abstraction
egg (material)
preliminary sketches (sketches)
stone (worked rock)

& Author Notes

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