On June 10th, 1985, Gaetano Cecere passed away with the company of his family in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. His commissioned work for the state bears the brunt of the task that is maintaining his legacy. War memorials, monuments, medals, bas-reliefs, and garden sculptures across the country vibrate with his touch. Imaginative, and deeply human- that his expertise distinguished not the miniscule from the monumental remains the strongest symbol of Gaetano's character. The classical and conservative amalgamate with the ethereal and poetic as Cecere embraces change and progress in American sculpture. Each decade in his timeline marks an epoch, which do as much to serve the past as the present.
With this in consideration, musings of Cecere's relationship with the distinctive periods of Ancient Greek Sculpture come about. Direct references to Hellenic Sculpture are revised and revitalized by the hand of a creator, as in touch with the past as he was with himself. "Simplicity," said Cecere in 1927, "should be the foundation of sculpture, the simplicity that expresses only the essential lines and masses to summon a vital emotion. This, I believe, is the great and enduring art."
His classic was a calm classic, quiet and emphatic, embodying onl that which is necessary to convey, as he says, a "vital emotion." Speaking to Cecere's produce of the 1960s, Moissaye Marans, the 20th century Russian sculptor commented, "He finds solace and security in his present creations as a reaction to the harsh and turbulent world around him."
Cecere's deftness and inventive spirit is observable in all stages of the sculptor's process. His tools are worn and sometimes altered; his pencils were sharpened by hand. Prototypes of recognized commissions are fleshed out again and again; a raw stone suggest the beginnings of a nose; a direct-carving in wood is ghostly in tone.
Miniscule and Monumental is the first exhibition and sale of the artist's work in over forty years. Presented to the public for the first time are 42 sculptures, 350 tools, pastel art, and a sculptor's stand which once populated the artist's studio space at the famous 41 Union Square building. Original photographs, magazine, and pamphlets supplement the collection, crucial to understanding both the personhood and livelihood of Gaetano Cecere.