| Lorrie (Goulet) De Creeft is primarily known as Lorrie H. (de Creeft) Goulet
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Stone, wood and ceramics sculptor Lorrie Goulet, who also makes drawings and lithographs, was born in Riverdale, New York in 1925. Her education included childhood study with Amiee Voorhees at Inwood Pottery Studios in New York City from 1932 to 1936, and with Josef Albers at the avant-garde Black Mountain College in North Carolina during the war years of 1943 and 1944. At this time, she was an apprentice of Jose de Creeft, the sculptor, whom she later married. |
She taught in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art from 1957 to 1964, the New School for Social Research from 1961, Scarsdale Studio Workshop 1959-1961, and, since 1981, the Art Students League.
Her public sculpture commissions include a ceramic relief sculpture for a New York City library in 1958, and one for a hospital in the Bronx, New York City, in 1961; as well as a 1971 stainless steel relief for a police and fire station in the Bronx.
The Clay Club Sculpture Center in New York City gave Goulet her first important one-person exhibition in 1948. Among other of Goulet's many one-person exhibitions are seven at the Kennedy Galleries in New York City from 1971 through 1986. Group exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, 1948-1950, 1953 and 1955; National Academy of Design, New York City, 1966, 1975 and 1977; Art Students League in 1982; as well as shows at the Museum of Modern Art, and American Federation of Art, New York City. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Algiers and Zagreb.
Lorrie Goulet is a member of the American Sculptors Guild and a founding member of the Audubon Artists.
Collections holding Lorrie Goulet's work include the National Academy of Design; New York Public Library, New York City; National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, both in Washington, D.C.; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; Boston University; and Wichita Museum of Art, Kansas.
Jules and Nancy Heller, "North American Women Artists of the 20th Century"
|Biography from David Findlay Jr. Gallery:|
|"Geometry and Flesh: The Sculpture and Vision of Lorrie Goulet"|
Taken from Sculpture Review Magazine
Volume XLII, No. 4
By Dena Merriam
is rare to find an artist who can with eloquence articulate the source,
inspiration and impulses that feed her or his art form. Creation,
being an intuitive process, bypasses the verbal—and often the
conceptual—circuitry. Artists create, and it is up to others to
fathom their works. Highly gifted stone and wood carver Lorrie
Goulet has taken it upon herself to explore what it is about a
sculpture that causes the work to have an impact on us and evoke an
emotional response: in particular, how the harmonies of, say, a Bach
composition can be discovered in a piece of stone; and how, without
knowing it, we respond to these symphonic forms.
“Sculpting is a
conversation without words,” says Goulet about the artistic process.
“It is a nonverbal communication between the sculptor and the material,
and then between the audience and the material. When you listen
to a bird, you don’t ask what his song is about, but you are moved by
its beauty.” So it is with sculpture, explains Goulet. Yet there
are mathematical equations and relationships in operation in every
piece of sculpture that, though we may be unconscious of them, affect
the way a work touches us.
“The relationship between music and
math is more easily recognized,” says Goulet. “I didn’t see the
mathematical relationships in sculpture until I began quadrating my
sculpture through overlays and a grid system.”
Some ten years
ago, Goulet began overlaying mathematical constructs on sculpture as a
teaching aid, to help her students understand the construction of a
head. When she began working on the planes of the head, she was
amazed at what she found. “You can actually map out the head,” says
Goulet. You can navigate and put a head together by constructing the
angles. That showed me the relationship between art and the
In sculpture there is an intimate relationship
between the seen and the unseen, says Goulet, between the embodied form
and the space around it. She points to a line on one of her
sculptures, tracing the line out into space beyond the actual stone
form. “This line extends outward toward infinity. If you extend
this other line, the two will meet our in space and form a
triangle—making up the larger construct in which the stone sculpture
Composers may not think about mathematical equations
when they compose a work, but intuitively they perceive them, and their
success depends on their ability to capture the intricate harmonies
underlying the structure of the universe that poets, philosophers and
mystics have spoken about through the ages. Similarly, a majority
of sculptors don’t construct their forms using mathematics, but the
most gifted artists intuitively tap into the mathematical laws that
govern creation: the actual stone, wood, or bronze piece makes visible
a small portion of the lines, triangles, and quadrants that exist
within that space. The emotional impact of a work is generated by
more than just technical prowess: according to Goulet, there is a
correspondence between the power of a sculpture and the degree to which
it reflects the universal laws. If we could train our eye to see the
whole, not just the visible portion, we would find that great works of
sculpture exist within a ratio of harmony and a system and a system of
numbers as intricate and interwoven as a Bach fugue. The ratio of
harmony is the system of numbers that consistently appears in an
Goulet’s correlation of math and sculpture came
recently in her evolution as an artist. Her early years were occupied
with learning to master the medium of stone and with finding her own
voice. It is impossible to track her development without
mentioning the man with whom she shared forty-three years of her life,
the Spanish-born sculptor José de Creeft.
Clearly, de Creeft
played a role in shaping the early adult life and work of Lorrie
Goulet. But he had less of an influence on her style and aesthetic than
one might expect, considering that she met and married the sixty year
old sculptor when she was only nineteen. As a young woman coming
of age in the shadow of the master carver, Goulet’s struggle for
independent artistic expression was made all the more difficult, but
she was able to muster the will and determination to separate herself
artistically from the man she so respected and loved.
Goulet met de Creeft during her student years at Black Mountain College
in North Carolina, she had already set in the direction of art, having
worked in the medium of sculpture since the age of eight. The young art
student was drawn to the teacher, whom she described as “a great, great
sculptor” and “a fountain of creative energy.”
“We were two
different artists who shared a life and did our own thing,” says
Goulet. “It was not a competitive relationship. I worked
independently and would invite him to my studio once or twice a
year. And then it was just to show him my work, not for any
criticism or critique.”
Over the years Goulet has developed a
style and series of themes that are decidedly her own.
Relationships, family, love, the earthy undulations of the female
form—these are the subjects of Goulet’s carvings. Through these
themes she strives to convey harmony, serenity, fullness and
abundance. Her work is replete with a marvelous feminine energy,
where rounded thighs and arms vibrate with a magnetic, yet not quite
erotic, rhythm. Whether crouching, reposing, or embracing, her forms
are often merging into each other or into the surrounding material, as
if to highlight our interconnectedness with each other and the larger
Goulet’s forms, portray an exuberance, a joie de
vivre. There is a rhythm to their often rocking postures that
breathes life into the stone. The amalgam of orbs composing
Goulet’s forms is, like the earth itself, a landscape of mountains and
valleys. Their contours suggest fertility, with its accompanying
sense of nourishment and wholeness.
The Kiss achieves a balance in its motion that suggests the ideal
harmony which is the goal of the relationship between a man and woman.
It is difficult to discern where the woman’s form ends and the man’s
begins, yet in their joining, they remain apart. The two heads jut out
from the forms like twin mountain peeks, each maintaining its own
strength and dignity.
Goulet’s Navajo, although a single
figure, portrays a similar sense of wholeness and a combining of
forces. In this case, however, it is not the joining of two bodies and
souls, it is the quality of self-containment, a gathering of oneself,
that is conveyed. It is difficult to determine whether the Native
American woman is staring outward or inward, so steady is her gaze.
Goulet’s figures contain great emotive power, they also reflect logical
and seasoned relationships—the mathematical properties to which she
“There are numbers connected to my work as
well as emotions,” says Goulet. The parts of the body are elements in a
composition. The invisible structure underlying the form provides its
resonance and power.
When Goulet’s students ask her what it all
means, she tells them to expand their vision to see all points in space
where the lines of the figure intersect. Then they will get a sense of
the relationship between the seen and unseen.
“This is not a new
way of seeing the world,” says Goulet with a chuckle. “But it’s a way
of seeing that hasn’t been talked about for a long time. In 600
B.C., Pythagoras said God is numbers and the system of the universe is
reflected in everything. In the geometry of the structure can be found
an expression of the universal spirit. My work is a combination of
flesh and geometry. I am concerned with beauty, order and
structure. I am seeking to portray these qualities in my
sculpture, as well as the feeling of motion and electricity pulsing
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