Rebecca Warren’s work
Rebecca Warren positions herself within the lineage of a sculptural tradition. She re-works and intentionally misappropriates existing images by the accepted masters of figurative sculpture, including Degas, Picasso and Rodin, as well as drawing on more contemporary artists such as R. Crumb and Helmut Newton. Warren pays homage to her heroes while gently questioning their authority.
Warren’s unfired clay sculptures project a sense of unleashed creativity, appearing to explode out of and merge back into the amorphous properties of the material.
In contrast, her wall-based vitrines, containing various detritus collected in and around the studio, have none of the clay works’ rough-hewn vitality. Each object is carefully assembled to draw out its particular emotional and associative resonances, elevating discarded leftovers to the status of art object while flouting conventional hierarchies of display.
In her new series of bronze works Warren further explores the degradation of established form. After receiving the clay originals back from the foundry, bashed and misshapen from the casting process, Warren revised and added to them before returning them for recasting. Repetitions can be detected between works as well as traces of rubber from their extraction from the moulds, thus showing disregard for the traditional connotations of the material.
Ideas of self-expression, gender and the nature and purpose of sculptural form converge in Warren’s work. However, she adopts a deliberately precarious stance, reinforcing a slippage of meaning through her hybrid titles which incorporate references to films, songs and made-up words, which mirror the varied forms of her work.