Monthly Archives: June 2012

Art of the lump and the hole

Rodin said sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump. Implicit in this pithy description is the weight and mass of all sculpture (certainly the western variety) up until the arrival of futurism, cubism and constructivism. Each of these ‘ism’s’ in turn found ways to undermine the traditional concerns of sculpture, opening it out, making it lighter and transparent, an object in its own right rather than exercise in mimesis. Of course the greatest sculptors, Michaelangelo, Rodin, transcended this mere copying from nature but the vast majority didn’t which is why I think much sculpture up until the late 19th century is fairly dull to look at. Academic portraiture is its equivalent amongst painters, usually skilful but unexciting.
Yesterday I was busy cutting up and glueing together pieces of card and made this wedge shape, painted white.

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On the face of it, the piece conforms to Rodin’s lump descriptor although it’s economy of shape and lack of any reference to human or animal form puts it at some distance from classical sculpture. However to escape even a tenuous link back to academic tradition I’ve balanced the sculpture on top of a hidden piece of card (visible on 1 photo though) so that it appears to float, defying gravity and it’s own weight and lumpen-ness.

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Priapic deil (devil)

Sometimes it’s just obvious what you should do with the junk lying around.

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