exhibition of new sculpture

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© Courtesy of the artist & Marian Goodman Gallery
exhibition of new sculpture

24 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
November 28th, 2012 - January 25th, 2013
Opening: November 28th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Mon-Sat 10-6, Summer Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6


Marian Goodman Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of new sculpture by Richard Deacon opening on Wednesday, November 28th and continuing through Saturday, January 19th, 2013.

On view will be new works which highlight Deacon’s virtuosity with materials and his recent investigations into volume, surface, seriality, as well as his continued exploration of the relationship between body and space, interior and exterior, the organic and structural, material object, drawing and language.

The exhibition will consist of four bent and twisted wooden works, sinuous forms infused with metal powders titled Aluminum, Copper, Iron, and Brass, which explore the dynamic tradition in Deacon’s work of organic and hybrid open/enclosed curvilinear forms. Three metal sculptures, of which two are multilayered, geometric folded metal works and incorporate hollowed solids and textured surfaces as in Four by Four and Foolish Pride, and one, a conjoined stainless steel work, Siamese Metal #7, which reveals the principle of aggregate construction and assembly from a compilation of shapes. Five powder-coated stainless works from his Alphabet series present matrices of trapezoidal, hexagonal, or octagonal forms adjoined to cavities of space and operate somewhere between drawing, wall relief, and freestanding sculpture. Three object-like stainless steel floor works from the Custom series, marked by their impermeable surface contours, originate from stainless steel tube and spinnings and refer to standardized products.


“Looking at this body of work I’d have to confess to an interest in surfaces – bright, scuffed, polished, scumbled, textured, applied and so on. I’d like to think that the surfaces not only fit the works, but are the works. As they say, what you see is what you get. It’s ended up that way, but I didn’t really start with the surface and build backwards. However it is that relationship to volume that interests me at this moment – that the surface is a beginning point rather than an ending, a cause rather than an effect.

“There are other, more formal concerns, seriality for instance in the Alphabet, Custom and wooden works, each of which is composed of similar, either made or bought, units differently organized and the pieces thus individuated. The Custom works are made from stainless steel tube and spinnings. The title Custom comes from an idea about modification to standard products – customizing – and the particularities of each title – Charmed/Foreign/Fivestar – refers to something like style.

The Alphabet works have a consistent vocabulary in terms of the width of the line but vary both in configuration and materiality – aluminium, stainless steel and particular powder-coated colouring. The series as a whole originates in a group of 26 drawings (an Alphabet), the use of the international letter identification names I(ndigo), H(otel) etc is in recognition of this particular sub-set.

“The wood works are all made up by selection from a group of bent and twisted wooden forms –– each composed with the idea of creating a single line. Paul Klee’s ‘taking a line for a walk’ is a reasonable description. They are further individuated by having their surfaces impregnated with metal powders – Brass, Iron, Aluminium and Copper.

Siamese Metal #7 continues a series made by combining two forms together and making them share features at their interface. Siamese refers to this twinning process, as in a Siamese junction in pipework, and harks back to the now discredited term for conjoined twins, a naming that remembers a pair of conjoined Thai acrobats in the nineteenth century court of the king of Siam.

“The two folded metal pieces, Four By Four and Foolish Pride find their origins in the hollowing out of abutted polygonal solids, just the vertices being left as skeletal structures. The surface of Four By Four is powder-coated, textured like black leatherette inside and out, covering the entire surface. The title refers to the number and configuration of the elements, and to an idea of hi-end upholstery such as you might find in a slightly menacing ATV. Foolish Pride is, literally, inside-out. The checker plate surfaces are on the inside of the sculpture’s three elements and the outside, the back of the aluminium plate, is finished with swirling abrasions which make the light dance across them as you walk past – which indeed is the source of the title – “Walk on by, foolish pride’ as Dionne Warwick sang. “


Current and upcoming projects include a new public commission for the Cornice of St. James’s Gateway, Piccadilly, which will be integrated into the architecture of the new façade. Formed of ceramic blocks, their faces decorated with a variety of related transfer patterns this 25 meter (92 ft) work will align with the activity of nearby Piccadilly Circus. Previewed at the Venice Architecture Biennial this year, the building project, the redevelopment of a block next to Piccadilly Circus by Eric Parry Architects and Stanhope Development, will be unveiled early in 2013.

Deacon’s work will be shown from mid December through early March, at Centro de l’Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC Malaga) (12/13 – 3/10).

An important retrospective exhibition of Richard Deacon’s work is scheduled to open in early Spring 2014 at The Tate Britain, London.

Born in Bangor, Wales in 1949, Richard Deacon lives and works in London. He received a M.A. at the Chelsea School of Art, London (1977-78), a B.A. from the Royal College of Art, London (1974-1977), and attended St. Martin’s, London (1969-1972) and Somerset College of Art, Taunton (1968-1969). He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London in 1987, and represented Wales at The Venice Biennale of Art 2007.

His recent retrospective, Richard Deacon: The Missing Part, was shown at the Musee d’Art moderne et contemporain de la Ville de Strasbourg, France and The Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany from 2010-2011.