Silent Sunday – January 31, 2016

IMG_1144Continuing the theme of B&W photos of artwork for Silent Sunday, this is Barbara Hepworth’s 1972 sculpture Assembly of Sea Forms (click on the title for more info on the piece). It is one of those sculptures you are so tempted to touch, the marble looks smooth as glass…but the thought of being tossed out of the museum by gallery guards restrains you. Though barely…

10 comments

  1. I immediately thought of Jean Arp…he must have influenced her.
    I do remember reading a sculptor bemoaning works being off-limits to touch. I can’t remember who it was though. Or maybe it was a textile artist…It’s like those artists’ books under glass, you can’t turn the pages and really experience them. I know, trying to “save” it…but experience, life, is ephemeral. We can’t really stop decay and destruction.

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    1. Books (whether old or artist’s journals or sketchbooks) are the most frustrating in this way! I’m always the person bumping their face into the glass as I try to see if I can peek beneath the page that the curators have fixed “up” for us to view or to see the texture of the cover or paper. One of my favorite art history books is called “Lost Art” and it has a whole chapter devoted to art that the artist intends to have break down or decay – especially as a commentary on the ephemeral nature of…well, everything! Jean Tinguely took this to the extreme and had his famous self-destructing machine at MOMA. It is almost ironic when you have that chapter of “Lost Art” conclude by discussing the various efforts of museums or galleries to preserve the work, essentially in spite of the artist!

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      1. There’s an artist on the Upper West Side who does these elaborate sidewalk chalk drawings, and the city becomes part of the process as they fade away–I really admire her, for making art that people can touch (or walk on–though it’s amazing how most walk around) and allowing it to truly become part of the environment.

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  2. This actually happened to me at the Tate Modern, when I rearranged an artwork – which was the artists wish as described in his note on the wall. I offered the guards to redo my crime, but was told, I wasn’t allowed to – the would have to call the curator to do so …

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