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CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: Contemporary Assemblage, Construction & Relief
Curated by Geoff Rigden

13 August  to 6 September 2015  |  Open Thursday to Sunday from 12noon to 5pm

PANEL DISCUSSION | Sunday 23 August 2015

Artists from the show will be present to discuss their work with Mark Hudson, chief art critic at The Daily Telegraph and author of the book 'Titan, the Last Days'. Also present will be writer / poet John Cornall, a long time collaborator of Geoff Rigden

2.30 to 3pm | Welcome and Refreshments
3 to 4pm | Discussion
4 to 4.30pm | Questions from the Audience

Exhibiting artists  |  Willard Boepple, Stephen Cooper, John Gibbons, Charles Hewlings, Stephen Jaques, Barrington Joseph, Stephen Lewis, John McLean, Geoff Mowlam, Stassinos Paraskos, Brigitte Parusel, Geoff Rigden, Norman Toynton, Lee Tribe, Sheila Vollmer

Following in the tradition – and it may be described as such by now – this exhibition of three dimensional CONSTRUCTED work (as distinct from carving and modelling) represents 15 contemporary artists whose practices, in essence, derive from the tenets of an avant-garde genre which originated a century ago.

It began with Picasso’s mixed-media cubist reliefs, a logical extension of the collages he had developed alongside Braque, of which the Tate’s “Still Life” 1914 (painted wood and upholstery fringe) is a prime example and judged by sculptor William Tucker as the masterpiece of that ground breaking phase.  In 1928 he entered into another milestone collaboration with Julio Gonzalez to produce his first welded iron sculptures: “Construction in Wire” 1928/9 and “Woman in Garden” 1929/30 amongst them, which would cause:  “.....the surprising....rapid and widespread influence over sculptors looking for new methods of expression.....in fact the origin of the modern conception in sculpture that is built in space rather than modelled”.  So reflected friend and biographer Roland Penrose in 1967 in his introduction to MOMA’s (NY) exhibition: “The Sculpture of Picasso”.

That same year (1967) Anthony Caro who had been constructing in steel for several years exhibited “Prairie”, a floor based sculpture which, if ever a sculpture defined the term “built in space” this was its refined embodiment.

The link between – one might say – the gimcrack, folksy facture of the representational Picasso relief and the cool, illusionistic abstract Caro is that, in the end, both works have been created by a process of composing with separate, discrete elements – like single musical notes or words – which both artists have employed for the same ultimate purpose of achieving a cogent, expressive three dimensional entity – albeit, in themselves entities of very different material, intention and manifestation.

During the past 100 years CONSTRUCTION has continued as a discipline in its own right, has burgeoned and promulgated a significant oeuvre of quality, variety and vitality and has established its place in the lexicon of the artistic mainstream.

Geoff Ridgen, July 2015

The exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists selected by Geoff Rigden.   The common strand being that they exemplify a particular aspect of the modernist tradition.  He writes: “Following in the tradition – and it may be designated as such by now Constructed Sculpture, as distinct from stone and wood carving or modelling in clay, plaster or wax (the conventional, universal sculptural media for centuries) – this exhibition presents fifteen contemporary artists whose individual practices acknowledge, embrace and exploit, in essence, the tenets of a genre which originated one hundred years ago”.