“I always seek a subject that permits lightness and space to enter the composition, to give it grace and movement, and free it from its restraint by earth and water.”
Price range: $7,600 - $13,600
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Ken Shutt (1928-2010)
Having spent over thirty years in Hawaii, renowned artist Ken Shutt has left a legacy there of significant public and private installations. Anyone who has visited the islands has, no doubt, admired his public artworks. Large-scale sculptures by Ken Shutt have been purchased by both the state of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu, including: “Family Structure” at the Hawaii Judiciary Building, “Porpoise” at the Honolulu Zoo, and “Celebrate the Arts” at Kauai Performing Arts Center in Lihue, which was Shutt’s last large-scale sculpture, completed from his wheelchair in Pietrasanta, Italy, where the marble was quarried.
Other significant installations include works at Sea Life Park, Makapu’u, O’ahu; the American Savings & Loan Building, Honolulu; the Hawaii Air Academy, Honolulu; and works outside resorts including Turtle Bay Hilton; Four Season’s Hotel, Wailea; Grand Wailea Resort, and more. “Birds in Flight” is exhibited at the Bangkok Metropolitan Bank, Thailand. Of his work Honolulu art critic Tacy Bowman Maguire observed that, “Ken Shutt’s sculptures are a great trip into space. Man will never be earthbound again around these breathtaking pieces. What a fertile imagination this man Shutt has.”
A native of southern California, Shutt worked as an illustrator for Douglas Aircraft before receiving an offer to be Art Director for Art Clokey Films, a clay animation film company at which he developed “Davey and Goliath,” the children’s television series. When the company moved from Hollywood, he chose to become a freelance illustrator and work on his budding sculpture career. Being commissioned by a film company to create a life-sized porpoise for a movie sparked Shutt’s interest in marine subjects and soon his career creating these works took off. When commissioned to create a monumental sculpture of divers and marine life for the center of Hawaii’s Sea Life Park, as it was being built, Shutt relocated to Hawaii and stayed.
Shutt created sculptures in resin, wood, terrazzo, bronze, marble and granite. After decades of success and declining health, it was his desire to find a good foundry at which to produce smaller bronze pieces that led to Shutt’s return to California. After his passing, it is the remaining available bronze editions of his works that are now offered exclusively at Bryant Nagel Galleries. Whether towering public works or intimate table sculptures, the qualities of a Ken Shutt piece remain consistent.
“Composition, in my opinion,” noted Ken Shutt, “is controlled through the silhouette, and that is my first concern in planning a piece. I always seek a subject that permits lightness and space to enter the composition, to give it grace and movement, and free it from its restraint by earth and water.”