Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Olafur Eliasson and tiny sculptures

I have an obsession with maquettes.

At the recent Olefur Eliasson exhibition at the MCA in Sydney, despite all his wonderful finished works, the real lure for me lay in one of the side rooms: the maquettes of imagined or eventually realised works.  Yes, the copper wire was messily soldered, the forms were perhaps unresolved, yet these tiny sculptures held something (other than potential) that really intrigued and excited me.

There’s something very special also about tiny sculptures.  They’re not on display currently, but the Art Gallery of New South Wales used to have an almost permanent exhibition of tiny Robert Klippel sculptures just next to the (now extended) cafĂ©.  While I live in Hobart now, I grew up in Sydney and used to gravitate towards these strange forms whenever my parents took me to the gallery.  Maybe it was their minuteness, perhaps the fact that they kinda looked like other things (bicycles, swings, see-saws…), the forms had some sort of hold over me.  Alas, in the last few years, the Klippel sculptures have been removed, unfortunately coinciding with my ability to articulate exactly what I like about certain artworks.  If only I could see them one more time in my adulthood…

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