Statements

Dimitri Hadzi book cover photo

Sculptures by Dimitri Hadzi

This metal blooms in the dark of Rome’s
Day light. Of how many deaths
Is Rome the bright flowering?
See, the dead bloom in the dark
Of the Fosse Ardeatina. The black
Breath of the war has breathed on them:
Shields gleam, and helmets, in the memory.

Their flowering is their being true
To their own nature; not being
A glory, a victory: being a record,
The way things are in war.
In the nature of things the flowers grow
With the authority of telling the truth:
Their brightness is dark with it.
David Ferry

“In surveying Hadzi’s work, we witness both continuity and transformation…. But consistently, throughout his long career, in both his public and his private works, he has created important metaphors in three dimensions, metaphors that affect the viewer not only visually, but also emotionally. This achievement is as true of the turbulent work of his earlier years as it is of the calm, resolved sculptures of his later period.”
Peter Selz, curator and writer, (Dimitri Hadzi, Hudson Hills Press, NY, 1996)

“Dimitri Hadzi’s sculptures have the deeply satisfactory self-sufficiency of all finished work. They do the paradoxical things, which the best sculptural forms do. On the one hand, they excite the viewer’s whole being, making it want to fly round and round in delighted reconnaissance, to be thrilled by each local excellence and to flutter above every felicity of invention or allusion or execution. On the other hand, the very fact of their completeness makes one’s being want to fold its wings around itself and around them, to dwell upon them in singular meditation and gratitude…. I value Dimitri’s oeuvre because of it’s nice combination of confidence and impersonality, muscle and nimbleness, historical echo and original forthrightness, it’s excellence on the largest and smallest scales. I value it because I know from looking at it and from observing its maker that it springs from a preverbal need which acts as a kind of sweet torment until it finds its release and equivalent in the silent adequacy of the sculptures themselves.”
Seamus Heaney, poet, Nobel Prize laureate, (Dimitri Hadzi, Hudson Hill Press, NY, 1996)

“In many ways, Dimitri’s sculpture, like his life, straddled dual cultures, still believing in the vitality and worth of post-Cubist art, insisting that this European legacy did not have to be forestalled by the War, as it had been in America, that there was still something to say in modernist sculptural languages that had their origins in Paris.  And prove it he did, even long after he moved to Cambridge in 1975 to take up his teaching position at Harvard, the devotion to his work never abating.”
Debra Bricker Balken, Independent Curator and Writer

“No matter what material Dimitri worked in – and he worked in almost every one, for he was equally a carver, a modeller, and a joiner – he always arrived at a very particular surface that was his alone.  The word that springs to mind is “articulate.”  His bronzes, however laboriously he finished and patinated them (using all of the knowledge he gained before he gave up chemistry for art), still bear the traces of knife and trowel, the memory of scraped wax and spattered plaster applied by a sure, never fussy hand.  They are also articulate in the sense that they speak, or make light and air speak.  Dimitri’s works will continue to breathe and speak for a very long time.”
Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

“… Hadzi creates a dramatic unity out of ingeniously created irregularities. He contrasts raw, rough-stone elements with silky polished bronze; the opposing textures of materials and separate shapes of side and back mysteriously cohere into a whole. … These works combine spatial notions of Eastern and Western cultures, contrasting the horizontal, earth-related African or Oriental views of gravity with totemic, vertical Western sculpture. Mostly executed in bronze, they have a dark, concentrated power. Within the edges of the bronze silhouettes, Hadzi creates undulating, sensuously textured surfaces. … These works continue to commemorate antiquity, but instead of celebrating heroic action, they honor contemplation.”
Margaret Sheffield, writer (Sculpture, May 1999)

Hadzi Studio photo

“I often equate the sculptural experience with basic geological phenomena. It is not unlike the layering of sediment deposits – the metamorphic phase where those sediments (experience) are compressed by time (contemplation) and action to convert or transform (crystallize) ideas into new images. Then, of course, the igneous or volcanic, the violent upheavals or the internal pressures that completely and dramatically alter and transfix concepts into solid reality.  Therefore, creativity goes in various directions, some slow, some rapid, but always changing.”

Dimitri Hadzi, 1987