The sculpture is defined purely by light. – Frederick Hart

The Clear Acrylic Resin Works: Transcending Tradition


Although he has stated that innovation is not a priority for him, his pioneering use of Lucite, including a process that he patented, is evidence that he is not an artist enslaved by the past. I find the Lucite work of particular interest.
– J. Carter Brown, Director Emeritus, National Gallery of Art

Frederick Hart had mastered the idea of pulling figures from stone through his years as a stone carver and later as the master sculptor of the important The Creation Sculptures at Washington National Cathedral. He also achieved major recognition as the sculptor of the bronze Three Soldiers, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC.

Hart’s desire to delve into the nature of being and non-being, first explored with the Cathedral work, led him away from traditional materials toward experimentation with a 20th century material, clear acrylic resin. Although artists have been casting bronze and other metals since antiquity, no legacy of casting clear acrylic existed when Hart first determined to master the new medium. Over the course of years of experimentation and perseverance, Hart became the first artist to cast figurative work in clear acrylic resin. He also patented a process of embedment, the casting of one acrylic work within another.

All the clear acrylic resin works are really the offspring of the Cathedral work. They deal with being and non-being. The figures emerge from something that is tangible, from a mass of stone. But more beautifully, in a sense, the clear acrylic resin figures emerge and disappear, literally creating a spiritual relationship between light and form, and a sense of mystery around being and non-being. It’s a beautiful, poetic variation on the creation theme.
– Frederick Hart

The sculpture is defined purely by light. It’s light from which forms move in and out. It’s light that defines the very delicate sense of image. I can capitalize on the watery, warm, flowing qualities of the material itself and compound them into images that are suggestive of dreams, memories and visions.
– Frederick Hart

Excerpted from Transcending Tradition: The Cast Acrylic Resin Works, Robert Chase, Frederick Hart Sculptor, 1994.

The above are selected works. For the complete clear acrylic resin works please reference Frederick Hart: The Complete Works, 2007.


Review Frederick Hart Monographs:
Frederick Hart The Complete Works
Frederick Hart Changing Tides
Frederick Hart Sculptor


Washington National Cathedral
The Acrylic Process
Bronze Sculptures


Belmont University
Nashville, Tennessee