Abstraction and figuration blend together in Hawthorne Tree. Reminiscent of a gnarled and thorny tree found in Witkin’s native South Africa, this work is one of six variations in a series, each representing different aspects of magical transformation. The theme is derived from a spell that was cast upon Merlin the Magician by a wood nymph, to whom he teaches his magic. The nymph goes forth in the guise of Merlin while he rests under the shade of a Hawthorne tree. By using bronze in an expressive way to mimic nature’s way of form-making, Witkin created a sculpture that is simultaneously grounded and atmospheric, enchanted and sacred.
Hawthorne Tree is currently on loan to Lambert International Airport for five years as part of the Lambert Art & Culture Program.
*Description is courtesy of the Laumeier Sculpture Park.
Dimensions: 5′ x 6′ x 5′
Year Completed: 1987
Material: Cast bronze, concrete base
Donor: Gift of Adam and Judith Aronson