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    Posted January 24, 2014 by
    Federal Way, Washington
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    The Egg

    The egg: from outside it is sculpture; from inside it is architecture. Twentieth century artists seemed to have been obsessed with the form of the egg. That may be because of the form's poetic potential inherent in its duality. A duality represented by the real and the ideal. The egg is a real object, a real form (can you get more real than a hard boiled egg for breakfast?). But its near perfection, an ovoid, alludes to Plato's ideal forms. The form of the egg connotes transcendence, spirit, maybe even heaven. It refers to our origin: the womb. It also refers to shelter, the primal shelter. It alludes to an imaginary simpler, more beautiful life. It symbolizes death and the afterlife, the space of heaven or just the final resting place. (What a beautiful casket the egg would make.)

    The egg is also a sensuous object. (I would not be surprised if in some prehistoric, primitive culture it was considered an aphrodisiac. (If a way to a man's heart is through his stomach then feeding him an egg must almost guarantee you a marriage proposal.))

    That much meaning condensed in a simple form helps to explain the egg's hold on some of the great, and not so great, artists of the modern era. Brancusi translated the egg into stone (and bronze), Arp fused a dozen (or so) eggs together, and Laurens spliced an egg and a woman. Hepworth looked inside and explored both aspects of the egg: its outer form and its interior space. Henry Moore did the same but with more complexity by, again, splicing an egg and a woman.

    But while modern artists and sculptures concentrated on the single egg, trying to glorify its simple form, past artists like Michelangelo, glorified its beauty by exploring the egg's presence in every part of the human body.
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