Spirit of Life (marble)
Helaine Blumenfeld OBE
390 x 170 x 170cm
Helaine Blumenfeld is an internationally acclaimed sculptor, whose career spans over 50 years. Born in New York, Blumenfeld studied at Columbia University, New York, and then at Oxford University, UK, where she completed a PhD in Philosophy in 1964. Following her studies, Blumenfeld moved to Paris to sculpt and became a pupil of Ossip Zadkine.
In 1973, Blumenfeld moved to England and the same year exhibited at Kettles Yard, Cambridge. 1978 marked a turning point in Blumenfeld’s work when she first visited Pietrasanta, Italy and started carving marble. In 1985 Blumenfeld had a joint exhibition with Henry Moore at the Alex Rosenburg Gallery, New York entitled Moore: Blumenfeld - a Dialogue.
Helaine Blumenfeld with Flight at Salisbury Cathedral
Now established as one of the most accomplished and respected figures in contemporary sculpture, Blumenfeld is a master of both bronze and marble. Her work has been hailed by the Financial Times as “The Henry Moore’s of the future”
In 2007 Blumenfeld won the Il Premio Pietrasanta e la Versilia Nel Mondo, adding her name to the list of winners of this honour including Botero, Pomodoro and Marc Quinn. Blumenfeld was the first woman to receive this prestigious award.
In 2008 the Royal British Society of Sculptors held a major retrospective of her work, and in 2011 the sculptor was awarded an honorary OBE. Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture presented the award saying “it acknowledges your remarkable contribution to the arts as one of the boldest and most diverse artists working today. Your pioneering approach has placed you at the forefront of contemporary sculpture.”
Blumenfeld’s public commissions include the three-meter high monumental marble Tempesta at The Lancasters, overlooking Hyde Park, London which was installed in 2012.
Tempesta at the Lancasters, Hyde Park
In 2013 Salisbury Cathedral hosted Messenger of the Spirit, an exhibition of 20 sculptures installed within the cathedral itself and monumental works throughout the grounds. In 2014 the four-meter high monumental marble Spirit of Life was exhibited on Park Lane, London.
In 2016 Blumenfeld’s monumental bronze titled Fortuna was commission by London’s Canary Wharf Group. Fortuna represents the artist’s most ambitious work to date and is now on public display as part of Canary Wharf’s growing public art collection, located at Jubilee Park.
Blumenfeld says of the sculpture “Some see it as an angel with its wings spread open, others as a tree of life, while some view it as hands reaching out in hope. But everyone recognises that this sculpture is about the positive power of beauty, of hope and of creation. I would like to see beautiful sculpture re-enter the lives of people, to take its place as part of a restoration of the human Spirit.”