Best Sculpture Show -- Masters Division - 2003
The breathtaking Manuel Neri at Robischon Gallery was a stunning display of works by one of the greatest Bay Area artists ever. Neri has used the figure as a taking-off point for his sculpture for almost fifty years, ever since his first child was born to the first of his five wives. Although his pieces are highly conventionalized, the female form is always apparent. Neri hired various models to anchor his work until the 1970s, when he settled on a permanent muse, Mary Julia Klemenko. As an adjunct to Manuel Neri, the artist did a book filled with nude photos of Klemenko taken decades ago; as appealing as these were, however, Neri's magical sculptures were the real attraction of the show.