3 rooms in Constellations
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Works that investigate ideas of transformation, performance and process, whereby the act of creating a work – its process of production - is inseparable from its meaning
Injecting sensuous and bodily qualities into her work, the American artist Lynda Benglis experimented with new materials including latex, believing that sculptural form should derive from their inherent qualities. Quartered Meteor is cast from an object made from layers of poured polyurethane foam. By casting it in heavy lead, Benglis ensures its longevity, while subverting the material truth of the original form – its softness and fragility.
Hans Haacke's work uses the cube form associated with minimal art to demonstrate naturally occurring environmental phenomena. Also referencing artistic conventions of the 1960s, Claes Oldenburg created pop sculptures depicting food, using lurid colour and texture, echoing the surfaces of abstract painting of the period. André Masson made paintings using poured sand, a form of automatic drawing favoured by fellow surrealist artists, which sought to unlock images from the unconscious mind. Michelangelo Pistoletto's Venus of the Rags transforms textile waste into spectacle. This potential for formlessness - or chaos - recalls the chance process that formed Benglis's sculpture, while showing how different materials invoke metaphorical connotations. Lucio Fontana's sculpture was cast with a cut gash, an organic shape evoking the human body and signalling 'a desire to make the inert material live.' The works of Joseph Beuys and Charles Ray further explore the relationship between sculpture and the body. Ray's photographic work presents his body as gravity defying sculptural element, pinned to the wall by a wooden plank.