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Adaline Kent


circa 1955

14 x 5 x 5 in. (35.56 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Gift of the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation

The title of Adaline Kent’s gnarled treelike sculpture Semideity calls attention to the artist’s binary sources of inspiration. Shifting fluidly between terrestrial and celestial, abstraction and representation, Semideity exemplifies Kent’s fascination with the human form, California landscape, and generative processes of nature. In addition to the conventional sculptural materials of stone and bronze, Kent worked in a variety of fast-drying materials, including ceramics, cement, and plaster, to quickly achieve her signature biomorphic forms.

Kent was an influential member of the modernist artistic community in San Francisco. Born in Kentfield, California, in 1900, Kent attended Vassar College in 1923 and studied sculpture at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in 1924. After graduation, she traveled to Paris to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière with Rodin disciple Antoine Bourdelle. In 1930, Kent returned to San Francisco, where she opened a sculpture studio and received many commissions for large-scale works, including a figurative sculpture for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939–40.

Sara Morris

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