Contributions to the 2012 and 2013 CityArt Sculpture Walks in Mankato are only tantalizing glimpses into the body of work created by Kasota sculptor David Hyduke.
Though the pieces on the sculpture walk are impressive to be sure -- 2012's swirling and curiously aquatic "Tiny Dancer" and 2013's joyful, gamboling "Jammin'" -- they only hint at the depth and breadth of Hyduke's 35-year career. From his formative years under the tutelage of renowned Gustavus Adolphus College sculptor Paul Granlund to his current mantle as a southern Minnesota sculptural expert, Hyduke has repeatedly challenged his technical and narrative methods.
"I like challenging myself and going in new directions," said Hyduke, who is displaying a retrospective of his career at the Carnegie Art Center through July 27. "I don't want to get locked in on one style."
Among the earliest of the several dozen sculptures on display is "Side by Side," a sculpture that Hyduke has never shown publicly. Though the work that the artist pegs to sometime in the late 1970s is purely abstract in its pair of upwardly revolving, stainless steel towers, it also previews the live and organic movement that marked his sculpture in following years.
From mothers lifting their children into the firmament to touch a passing bird to figures dancing as if no one is watching, Hyduke demonstrates an ability to coax sensitive and graceful insinuations of movement from the bronze that serves as his usual medium.
In "Xxxxx xxxx," Hyduke casts a featureless woman's form in a pensive, melancholy pose, chin resting on fist, spindled legs crossed above the ground. The composition is at once isolating and reverent as she sits -- or, perhaps waits -- on a barstool, its likewise spindled legs vaulting her high off the base of the sculpture. In "The Last Dance," Hyduke interprets the iconic final scene from Ingmar Bergman's 1957 fantasy masterpiece "The Seventh Seal" with a warmth and comfort that belie the macabre undertones.