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Sculpture

March 22–April 27, 2012
Hong Kong

Installation view Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Photo: Martin Wong

Works Exhibited

John Chamberlain, GOOSECAKEWALK, 2009 Painted and chrome-plated steel, 82 ½ × 45 ½ × 32 ½ inches (209.6 × 115.6 × 82.6 cm)© Fairweather & Fairweather LTD/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

John Chamberlain, GOOSECAKEWALK, 2009

Painted and chrome-plated steel, 82 ½ × 45 ½ × 32 ½ inches (209.6 × 115.6 × 82.6 cm)
© Fairweather & Fairweather LTD/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About

Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present an exhibition of sculpture by game-changers of postwar American art John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cy Twombly, together with recent work by the irrepressible Austrian sculptor Franz West. Each of these artists, in ways befitting their respective contexts, has sought inspiration from found materials and everyday life.

One of the most inventive artists in postwar American art, Rauschenberg worked in “the gap between life and art” to develop an altogether new visual language based on collage as a microcosm of the larger, messy world. Walking the streets of New York, he picked up trash and discarded objects that interested him, integrating them into bold paintings or assembling freestanding sculptures. These he called, simply yet paradigmatically, “combines.” The Gluts series (1986–95) are a direct comment on surplus in the 1980s Texan oil market as well as the widely fabled material greed and excess of the era. Exploring the reflective, textural, sculptural, and thematic possibilities of road signs and scrap automobile parts he assembled wall reliefs such as Bumper Slip Late Summer Glut (1987) and Splice Early Winter Glut (1987). Thus transformed into powerful aesthetic objects, these junkyard relics yet retain some of their original, non-abstract identity. Hoax Summer Glut (1987), a rare freestanding sculpture of the primarily wall-based series, proposes a more overt narrative with a battered construction helmet, and a dramatically balanced swathe of industrial mesh.

Rauschenberg’s friend and sometime collaborator Twombly began making sculptures in 1946. In contrast to the gritty exuberance of Rauschenberg’s sculptures, his bricolages are rather more austere and elegiac. Taking humble materials and found objects, he coated them in chalky white gesso, producing totemic sculptures possessed of an almost archaeological beauty, with a refined play between fragility and obduracy, ancient and modern, epic and everyday. In 1979 Twombly began casting some of these bricolages in bronze, thus transforming and preserving the tenuous forms into cohesive and more robust wholes. While discrete sculptural elements are often partially merged and abstracted by the casting process, in the vertical Untitled (2004–09) each remains clearly visible; a broom inside a funnel resting on a cylindrical pedestal.

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