Worked in Boston and Gloucester, MA

Year created:
Pegasus, Alfred Duca
Click images for larger view

42" x 36" x 36"

deCordova Permanent Collection 2001.55, Gift of Veronique Bernard in memory of Alfred Duca

No longer on view.

An ardent adherent of the Boston Expressionist style of painting and sculpture, Alfred Duca actively produced works of art for over fifty years. He was also a pioneer in the development of new artistic processes and materials: he invented polymer tempera, a fast-drying water-based forerunner of acrylic and latex paints, as well as the "foam vaporization process," a form of metal casting originated by Duca after several years of experimentation and research as a resident artist at the M.I.T. Department of Metallurgy. Pegasus was the first sculpture ever made using this process, where a model is carved in Styrofoam, then packed in a sand mold—the original foam pattern evaporates as the molten metal is poured in, yielding one unique solid cast. The characteristic texture of Styrofoam can be seen in the sculpture's surface.

It was Duca's conviction that "all arrangements of matter have the capacity to produce an emotional comprehension in man. This must be realized as experience, not knowledge." Pegasus is a dramatic example of Duca's brand of Figurative Expressionism. The mythical horse sits atop a rock outcropping, surveying the Museum grounds. The wings, which are this horse's pride and strength, span wide to catch the wind as it prepares to take flight. All muscles are primed, its neck twists skyward, and the viewer is gripped by the anticipation of this captured moment.