Artist's Notebook

Peter Dudek on Presentational Sculpture*

Guest Contributor Peter Dudek / Lately a presentational mode of sculpture has been popping up all about. The hallmarks are a casual yet formal arrangement of sculptural elements. The constituent parts vary from the made-from-scratch, to the merely found, to the found but altered object. The presentations might include works by other artists, or seemingly broken bits or fragments of sculptures. But they all have in common a �laying out� in a fresh way that seems of the moment.

[Image at top: Tauba Auerbach]

There are precedents of course, LeWitt�s Incomplete Open Cubes might be one. The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ by Kippenberger certainly another. But for me, Auguste Rodin�s photographs of his studio laid the groundwork. When you have a good studio you have to photograph it, and Rodin�s photos tell a story of constant play. Materials are strewn about. Forms are stacked and restacked. Pieces owned by museums are seen in the studio containing different parts. The implication is that if, after an exhibition, a sculpture returns to the studio, it then becomes available to be deconstructed and reshuffled. It�s raw material again, morphing and multiplying into ever-newer and more varied combinations. Nothing is in a fixed position in the studio. Presentational sculpture reflects this phenomenon. The presentational mode facilitates reiterations of a broader narrative, a retelling of studio practice.

Rodin in his studio (via Horizon).
Editor’s Note: This is a 2012 image of Peter Dudek’s studio. Dudek’s work is on dsplay in “Space, Light, and Disorder,” a group show curated by Marilla Palmer at Kathryn Markel Fine Art (Chelsea, New York, NY) through February 13, 2016. Artists include Dawn Clements, KK Kozik, Joshua Johnson, Caroline Cox, Sydney Licht, Marilla Palmer, Bruce Pearson, and Theresa Hackett.   

*With apologies to Roman Ingarden.

Related posts:
Sculptural objects around town (2016)

Peter Dudek: Challenging murals in North Adams
Christopher Joy settles on the floor


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  1. thank you , love this article and the photos.

  2. Pingback: A new maximalism? Collecting, typologies, and objects in "The Keepers" - Two Coats of Paint

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