Sculpture since 1945

Sculpture since 1945

Sculpture since 1945

Sculpture since 1945

Synopsis

Since 1945 the modern revolution in sculpture has gathered pace, and even the term sculpture has ceased to be the fixed category it once was. In Sculpture Since 1945, Andrew Causey provides a ground-breaking account of the development of post-War sculpture. In over 130 beautiful illustrations, Causey examines innovative and avant-garde works in relation to contemporary events, festivals, commissions, the marketplace, and the changing functions of museums. He also explores the use of everyday objects and the importance of sculptural context, discussing figurative and non-figurative works, Anti-form, Minimalism, experimental form, Earth art, landscape sculpture, installation, and performance art. A final chapter brings the discussion of sculpture right up to the present day by examining sculpture since 1980. The holistic picture of post-War sculpture which emerges in Sculpture Since 1945 establishes for the first time key events and themes around which future debate will center.

Excerpt

In previous centuries sculpture had certain functions--votive, commemorative, didactic, decorative--which it has gradually lost. After the early decades of this century, when avant-garde sculptors abandoned the tradition of Rodin and reconstituted their art from the examples of Cubist painting and relief, twentieth-century sculpture lost touch with the wider public. Though contact between the public at large and experimental sculpture has plainly not been regained in the course of the period covered by this book, redefining the function and purpose of their discipline has always been in sculptors' minds. With the end of the Second World War sculptors were asking themselves what, in an age of abstraction, a commemorative art might be. Was public sculpture possible? Questions of wide public interest have been asked by sculptors all through this period. Sculptors have preferred inscrutability to compliance with the values of a world increasingly influenced by marketing and entertainment. The sheer variety of materials and forms that have been presented as sculpture in this period makes it clear that sculpture has not been regarded as a stable concept with fixed boundaries that have remained untouched by the material facts of post-war history.

With the rapid changes that sculpture has passed through since 1945, there is a particular interest in what other arts, or disciplines outside the arts, sculpture butts up against, what attitude it takes to subjects as diverse as history, memory, landscape, theatre, architecture, the museum, the art market, the manufactured object. Very little of the sculpture discussed here is abstract in the idealist sense of being in flight from the material aspects of the world. Even the resolutely non- figurative forms of 1960s Minimalism evoke in materials and forms other modern manufactured objects. Sculpture in this period borrows its terms of reference from many other areas; its resonances and inflections come from countless sources. It is a peculiarly open discipline.

Chapter 1 looks mainly at the work of sculptors with reputations already established by 1945. It discusses the West's lack of enthusiasm for memorial sculpture after the War and the Holocaust, and asks what other ways existed for sculpture to fulfil a commemorative function. Public spaces were sites for sculpture, sometimes venues for changing . . .

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