William Turnbull
Parallels 1967

Artwork details

William Turnbull 1922–2012
Date 1967
Medium Painted steel
Dimensions Object: 51 x 2743 x 102 mm, 504 kg
Acquisition Presented by Alistair McAlpine (later Lord McAlpine of West Green) 1970
Not on display

Display caption

Evident in 'Parallels' is Turnbull's deliberate understatement of artistic intervention. The form of each U beam was attained simply by halving the length in which these industrial materials were supplied. The number of beams displayed and the size of the regular gap between them may be varied, if desired, each time the work is shown. In thus subverting traditional notions about fixed composition and by permitting the form of the work as a whole to be varied, Turnbull reinforces the presence of each individual unit. Yet despite its potential for indefinite variation, the parallel configuration of the ground-based beams invests the work with an insistent sense of order.

August 2004

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