Catalogue entry

Michael Bolus b. 1934

T01351 8th Sculpture 1963

Not inscribed.
Painted steel, 40½ x 40¾ x 12¼ (103 x 103.5 x 31).
Presented by Alistair McAlpine 1971.
Exh: The Alistair Ale Alpine Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1971 (13, repr.).
Lit: Richard Morphet, in catalogue of The Alistair McAlpine Gift, 1971, p. 56.

‘8th Sculpture’ was made at a time when Bolus was thinking of making a sculpture from a ten-foot sheet of crumpled paper. It embodies the sense of inconsequentiality by which, in not marking off a sculpture theatrically, he aimed to make it more real. He felt that since a sculpture should need no further support than its mere existence, it ought to be possible to achieve equal presence with an apparent fragment. Deliberately made to look like a random part of a larger whole, ‘8th Sculpture’ was partly inspired by Brancusi’s ‘Torso of a Young Man’, 1922. Form sliced off” here suggests its own indefinite extension, and supports Bolus’s desire that a sculpture should be not just an object in space, but somehow continued into the space around it. The piping gives texture and (intentionally pedantic) control to the monochrome surface.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.