Renowned sculptor Lyle Sopel announced the recent completion of Battle Cry, a monumental work in jade. Standing nearly four feet high, the piece is an expression of Sopel’s long-standing interest in scenes of nature. “The challenges involved in working with such a beautiful and demanding material as jade only increase with scale,” Sopel said, “So Battle Cry was particularly special to me, since it required bringing all of my skill to bear on it.” The sculpture depicts two bald eagles fighting in mid-flight over captured prey, and it is notable for the pointed dynamism of its subject matter, the impressive scale of the work, and its masterly technique and attention to detail.
Specializing in jade and other gemstones, Sopel is one of the most prominent contemporary sculpture artists working with those materials today. Described as “one of the most accomplished jade sculptors in the world” by the National Geographic Magazine Society, he has had a prolific career of over thirty years. Often focusing on animals and other natural subjects, he has developed a reputation for being able to use jade’s inherent beauty to great effect as he coaxes it into such shapes.
Although jade has been used to produce simple carvings for thousands of years, relatively few artists work with the medium at the present time. It is a challenging substance to sculpt, being harder than steel and less predictable in its behavior than more commonly utilized materials like marble. At the same time, when properly utilized by an artist of sufficient skill, the material can lend a compelling and unique character to sculpture, as in Battle Cry, where the substance draws viewers into the scene with its earthy beauty and translucent complexity.
Sopel’s jade sculptures have found their ways into the collections of such notable personalities as former President of the United States George H.W. Bush and the Duke and Duchess of Westminister. He has exhibited widely, including staging a number of solo exhibitions in the United States and Canada, and continues to show his works in group exhibitions around the world. Sopel brings deep training in classical techniques to the sculptor’s bench, while also contributing a unique perspective that elevates his creations into being truly unique works of art.
Sopel’s career began in earnest after his talent impressed an established collector of jade sculptures. This early benefactor provided Sopel with financial and moral support that allowed him to focus full-time on working with this unique material, training that has served him well ever since. Not long after, Sopel’s work began attracting attention from museum curators and other collectors, and he has remained a prominent force in the world of contemporary fine art since.
About Lyle Sopel Studios:
Founded in 1979, Lyle Sopel Studios produces luxury sculptures carved from jade and other gemstones. Sopel exhibits frequently and is recognized as one of the most notable sculptors working with jade today.
Visit http://www.sopel.com for more information.
Name: Colette Gauthier
Organization: Lyle Sopel Studios