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September 22, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-09-22

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$unday, September 22, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

PROFILE

MECHANICAL FIGURES
Tom McClure:The dynamics
of human feeling in sculpture

By SUE STEPHENSON
"LIKE MOST KIDS, I grew
up liking to draw," says
University Art Professor Thom-
as McClure. But unlike most
kids, McClure's love of drawing
wasn't stifled; he grew up and
b e c a m e an accomplished
sculptor.
McClure's sculptural pieces
tend to be a cross between sci-
ence fiction and surrealism, he
says.
Part of his inspiration for
creating "Seven Steps" - a
human figure with a mechani-
cal chest and head falling down
a short flight of stairs- came
from watching a Rod Serling
television show. "At the end of
the show," McClure explains,
"the man tumbled down some
stairs and everything fell out of
him so you realized for the first
time that he was a robot and
not human."
"Many of my ideas for pieces
of art," McClure says, "come
from pictures of scientific ex-
periments where people are
hooked up to machines . .. sort
of like what was on the news
the other night."
On the news, several mon-
keys were shown with electrodes
attached to their heads to test
the effect of marijuana smoke
on them. "My sculptures are
sort of like those things," Mc-
Clure says: they're human fig-
ures with machine-like parts.
"People usually start a piece
of work from some idea they've
had before," he says. "Ten
years ago I did a series of
sculptures and then I saw that
if I made a change in one
place, the sculpture would do
this," McClure says, gesturing
with his hands, "and if I'd
make a change in another place
it would do this. It's sort of
like autos developing," he says.
ASKED TO explain the basic
trends and changes in his
art career, McClure found it
difficult at first, but then said,
"My pieces seldom deal with
just purely formal problems.
And," he continued, "they all
are vaguely psychological. They
deal with psychological situa-
tions, emotions.
"Even if I just made a cube,"
McClure says, "it would have
some relation to human feeling
TONITEE
Tracey
Schwartz

by the way it was treated. It's
like I take an abstract piece
and make it sort of broken and
twisted. This has some rela-
tion to human feeling. It sug-
gests that there's something
happening, that you don't have
a static situation. There's
something taking place."
THIRTY-SIX YEARS ago, Mc-
Clire entered the Univer-
sity of Nebraska as a journal-
ism major, but journalism on-
ly satisfied him for one term.
The next term he switched to
art. "I was apprehensive about
getting a job with a major in
art," McClure admits, "but I
saw that I like art and could
do it quite well."
McClure interrupted his edu-
cation for four years with the
advent of World War II. During
those four years, he worked for
the Boeing Air Craft Company
as a technical illustrator. And
he feels that "a little bit of
this (technical drawing experi-
ence) has led to my machine
tendency in sculpting."
After the war, McClure did
work towards his Masters de-
gree at the Cranbrook Academy
of Art in Bloomfield Hills. Then
he taught for a year at Alfred
University in western New York
and a year at the University of
Oklahoma before coming to
the University in 1949.
"In recent years," McClure
says, "I've worked entirely with
metal, especially bronze. I us-
ually model the thing first in
clay," he explains. "I build a
lot of my sculptures like cars in
a way. Then I take a mold off
the model figure and make sev-
eral wax duplicates which I

cut up and reassemble in dif-
ferent ways. Possibly I change
a piece from male to female
in this process," McClure says.
"IT'S LIKE TAKING a Volks-
wagen and putting a Ford
front on it," McClure says.
"I make a figure that looks"
like it comes in parts and
could be assembled in different
ways," he says. "It's like buy-
ing a suit with two pairs of
pants, except people are buying
a sculpture with three sets of
heads."

women to entertain the boss, the
woman to love. So," McClure
says, "in 'Eve' I've created
three interchangeable heads
with identical faces, yet they
are different faces."
McClure has participated in
more than 80 art exhibits and
has presented eightWone-man
shows in Oklahoma, Wisconsin,
Illinois and Michigan. And his
works of art are exhibited in
public collections in Seattle,
Washington, Syracuse, New
York, and Detroit.
McCLURE CREATES an av-
erage of 12 pieces a year,
which vary in size from six
feet high on down. "I work like
a guy on the job - a plumber,
electrician or factory worker,"
McClure says. "I try to work
an eight-to-five day and I keep
a time sheet on every job,"
McClure says, but he admits
that his work weeks "always
total more than 40 hours."

LEVIN for GOVERNOR
WANT TO VOLUNTEER?
Stop by U-M Student Office at Univer-
sity Towers-Apt. No. 8-E Monday or
Tuesday 10-5; or call 994-1189.
Pd. Pol. Adv.
231 S. State # Dial 662-6264
6_% NWSHWNG! I

I

Explaining the three inter- "Oh, some people say they
changeable faces of his sculp- work best in the dead of the
tore "Eve," McClure says, night, or all that junk," Mc-
"Women have different colors Clure says, "but I don't believe
of hair, different styles of in that. I don't like to work at
hair, different eyelashes . . . night."
And when men marry, they
want different types of women: Site Stephenson is Feature Edi-
the woman in the kitchen, the for of the Daily.
FASHION MODELS-drop-in- interviews ~
to screen potential models
WILL BE HELD AT
AIRT WORLDSv
213V2 S. MAIN-ANN ARBOR
jFRI., SEPT. 27-7-10 p.m.
Applicants should be at least 18 years old
and 5'4" tall.
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY
-- -- .,0 -
~R

NEW AMERICAN MOVEMENT
A NATIONWIDE SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION
FALL MEETING OF
ANN ARBOR CHAPTER
Presentations & Discussion son Current
S t a t e of the Movement & Plans f o r
Action.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 22-7:30
FACULTY LOUNGE, UNION

t

I

i
°l D
THRU THE
WET
a D

I

ll l

Medicine
Dentistry
Osteopathy
Veterinary
PRE-PROFESSIONAL
INFORMATION MEETING

CAREER

Tues., Sept. 24-8 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 25-8 p.m.
1025 Angell Hall

Planning t
Placement

Information on credentials, letters of
recommendation, evaluation, regis-
tration, procedures for admission,
etc.

DAILY CLASSIFIEDS
BRING QUICK RESULTS

OF THE NEW
LOST CITY
RAMBLERS
fiddle, guitar, banjo
1411 ill TMET
1 IgS.I

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
PROFESSIONAL

THEATRE

ybuni7
I-~I. - -r

FABUNIQUE
announces a
Back-to-School
Sale
20% OFF
ON
women'sltops
Turquoise & silver jewelry,
wholesale and retail
Shirts and skirts

PROGRAMS
presents

V

%0e 'ree Sisters
by Anton Chekhov
directed by Boris Tumarin
OCTOBER 17 TROUGH 20
Love's Labour's Lost
by William Shakespeare
directed by Gerald Freedman
OCTOBER 24 THROUGH 27
EDWARD II
by Christopher Marlowe
directed by Ellis Rabb
OCTOBER 31 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3

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