Artworks 1971-80

Solzhenitsyn by Bernard van Lierop

Solzhenitsyn sculpture by Bernard van Lierop

‘Mask of Solzhenitsyn’ (1974)
Height 75 cms (29.5 ins) Slate-filled GRP

My admiration for Solzhenitsyn became intense when I read ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”. I was already modelling this sculpture in 1974 when he suddenly ‘disappeared’, and it felt I as if I were making his tombstone. Within a few days he appeared again in the West, expelled from the USSR. Ideally, this head would be cast in bronze and set up in a School of Russian Studies somewhere. In fact it exists as a rather thin and fragile casting in Glass-reinforced Polyester Resin. I consciously shaped his head and hair into a dome to resemble one of the golden domes of the churches Maggie and I had seen in Russia seven years earlier on our 1967 visit.

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