Class De Danse. A Superb Contemporary Bronze By Benson Landes (1927-2013)
Period: 20th century
A contemporary bronze sculpture of a sitting dancer. For Benson Landes, sculpture was most definitely a passion. His oeuvre of cast bronzes is populated with ‘off duty’ ballet dancers, rather wistful women, often caught in moments of solitary repose. Such an obvious appreciation of the grace and elegance of the female form was, no doubt, heightened by 25 years spent in the couture business, which Benson entered at the age of 14. The sculptor admitted that his time as an apprentice at his father’s clothing workroom and factory was given rather reluctantly, as he always harboured desires to become an artist.
On completion of his RAF service, and after a short spell in the family business Benson decided to set up his own business. Starting with a single sewing machine and tailoress by the 1970s he employed over 50 staff and supplied to prestigious stores such as Dickens & Jones and Harrods. As the decade progressed however and fashion turned towards less structured more casual garments it prompted Benson to retire and spend time with his first love of sculpture and he soon succeeded in selling some of his first pieces of sculpture, a collection of sporting trophies shown at the 1981 Open Golf Championship to the Crown Jewellers Garrads. This success quickly brought important contacts and new commissions.
Benson always maintained that being able to work as a sculptor is a unique privilege. Usually in the company of a model, he often worked in the studio against the soothing background of classical music. Benson said that the things that mattered in life are those of beauty; he truly believed that romance and elegance are necessary shields to what he saw as the sometimes too hurried manner of life today. This sculpture is signed and numbered 18 (this edition will be limited to 25 only). Two thirds of the edition have already been sold and this is the only one currently available.