Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, The Yawner, 1771-81. Tin cast, 43 x 22, 24 cm.

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

New York

Neue Galerie

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s last body of work, known as the Kopfstücke (“headpieces” or “character heads”), is awe-inspiring. Created in the latter half of the 18th century, these contemporary-seeming sculptures manifest as a strikingly complex and uncompromising exploration of the human soul. Nevertheless, the Austrian sculptor (1736-83) remains little known. Defying categorization…see the full review in July/August’s magazine.