Betty Hoenshell Younger presents a body of work which grows out of modern "constructivist" theory brought forth initially by the Bauhaus. This theory rejected the long-standing western tradition of seeing form only in depth and of image making only organic humanistic criteria.
The Constructivists began to build three-dimensional plastic art as an architect or engineer would do. They searched for the absolute values of pure form in an entirely new way. Form was its own meaning and could be reduced to the sphere, the cube, and the cylinder. Some of them searched for the meaning of the human reaction to these forms. Eventually, it was realized that the geometric forms, in their infinite variety, are symbols to mankind of the organic and inorganic forms which surround us.
For those sensitive enough to react to abstract sculpture, they recognize on a conscious or unconscious level that these are symbols of the vital forces which surround us, the "universal analogy" which the West had forgotten. Einstein called this the positive motive which drives man to find a simplified, synoptic view of the world which can be comprehended. Freud wrote of "totems and taboos." Jung spoke of "archetypal" geometric forms.
Younger has taken full advantage of the technological innovations in twentieth century sculpture. There have been more advances in the last century than in the previous 2000 years. First, the limits of the dense solidity of bronze were overcome by welding sheets and rods of modem metals, allowing nearly two-dimensional forms to soar into space and still be self-supporting. Secondly, artist Alexander Calder and others began to make sculptures which for the first time actually moved. Thirdly, a new attitude developed about sculptural unity. Works began to be produced from found objects - many pieces cast-offs from industry.
Betty Hoenshell Younger began her artistic career as a jeweler. She is strongly influenced by Naum Gabo, Nicholas Pezsner, and Constantin Brancusi. After receiving her art education at San Jose State and UCLA, she taught art on the secondary level. Even though her primary concerns for the next few decades were her husband and family, she continued her involvement in the arts.
In 1990, the need to create reemerged. Driving by an industrial yard one day, she saw two rusted disks five feet in diameter and an inch thick, leaning against a fence. They were to become The Oracle. Haunting scrap yards for materials and mastering the arts of cutting, shaping welding and polishing of various metals, she would eventually assemble a 2,500 square foot atelier where she and her assistants work using the latest industrial equipment. The body of work presented here spans the last 13 years of her creative energy.