Seated Figure

Frederick Hastings (1919-2013)
Steel, air-dried clay, paint, cardboard, cotton
Circa: 1960-80
Size: 5"(h) x 4"(l) x 2"(w)
The work of Frederick Hastings was discovered a few years ago and much of the details of his life and work remains a mystery.

What is known is that he lived outside of Philadelphia, was an architect and may have had family money. It is also known that he was into trains and built elaborate sets.

The figures are very well made, with steel armatures or skeletons and then carefully modeled with some sort of air-dried clay or modeling putty. Most have applied paper bikinis and several have wigs of cotton or wool. Most of the figures come with hand-made boxes, custom fit to accommodate the size and posture of each. This example is especially good, as not only is the figure well made and painted, it features a seat made by Hastings to accommodate the figure. This gives the sitter a sense of context or a hint at a narrative.

At first blush the figures appear hermaphroditic or trans-gendered, however, none have a penis—just muscular bodies with breasts. And though great effort is put into modeling and composing the figures, there appears to be no attempt to idealize or beautify the faces—which are often quite severe and grotesque.

During the same period in which Forrest Bess was exploring sexuality through hermaphroditism, Hastings was engaged in exploring the boundaries of masculinity and femininity.

Condition: Excellent with wear commensurate with age.


Price: $1,800.00