Richard Gross considered the male nude to be the highest form of sculptural expression but in conservative pre-Second World War New Zealand his nude sculptures attracted considerable controversy. Gross aimed to convey abstract ideals in these figures; for example 'The athlete', on the gate at the Auckland Domain, stretching outward and upward, represents striving, action and freedom. The similarity to Greek and Roman statues is deliberate: Gross believed that classical art was the ultimate standard of excellence.
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Flickr: Vern Smith's photostream
Photograph by Vern Smith
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