Comments on: Steel Sculpture Part I: From Gabo to Caro http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-618026 Thu, 12 Jun 2014 02:19:21 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-618026 Responding to Terry and Robin – if a sculpture is not something to look at then how is it experienced? The notion that a work can act directly on the body has always been attractive, and every sensitive viewer has had some bodily feelings in front of art, but in the end seeing and knowing prevail. Is it an artist’s perspective, from inside the work, feeling how it’s made? I mean literally and imaginatively a “view” from the interior of the structure?
Basically I’m sympathetic to the project, but a little allergic to programmatic statements.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-617675 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:37:21 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-617675 I’d change your neighborhood.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-617639 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:08:18 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-617639 Responding to Robin – that’s interesting. Because your work has no closed off volumes you can see through it, and so have a 3-d feeling from any direction, a different one from every position though. Obvious, but didn’t occur to me, because don’t see much work of this type. But do see many melancholy rust gardens of seventies steel sculpture, one in my neighborhood.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-617570 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:23:37 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-617570 My sense of something very three-dimensional might mean that you get the whole thing from any position. “Views” are to be avoided. Hardly possible? Good, that’s something to go for.

The pursuit of three-dimensionality has two distinctive advantages. One, already touched upon, is that content is not compromised (which of course it is if the sculpture nearly disappears from an end view). And two, just about any attempt to address the issue lands you in glorious new territory where no-one has been before.

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-617334 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:51:38 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-617334 I don’t think that successful three-dimensionality is a question of the number of satisfying ‘views’ that a sculpture might or might not present. It is perhaps more structural and material in nature, something that runs right through a sculpture’s character and purpose as a fashioned entity.
I have no difficulty in seeing ‘Australia’ as a sculpture as opposed to a drawing in space or a relief (which I don’t believe it to be). It might be flawed in some respects but no matter, art is the work of humans not gods.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-615815 Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:04:38 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-615815 Does a fully three dimensional sculptural experience mean that every centimeter of movement round the piece gives a different and equally satisfying view? That’s hardly possible. My guess is that the most ambitious work of the type that Robin Greenwoid and perhaps yourself advocate has maybe four or five views. Which means that a given “view” would account for some large slice of the pie, and within that slice you don’t have to be too exacting about where you stand. That’s how I hear Greenberg, that knowledge accompanies perception and we can “see” a volume or a mass without having to pore over every part of it. Likewise there are bound to be blind spots, overlaps, places in-between and so on, but if the work has enough of what makes it fascinating we won’t notice them. A fully three dimensional work is one of the beautiful illusions of art, like the illusion of wholeness, or the illusion of presence, to name two favored on this site (in distinction to the more common illusion of critique or illusion of identity).

I recently saw a Smith of the same period as Australia, and to me the dead on end view did not seem important; the important end views are anyway not dead on, but a little to the front or back, or even from above, because they reveal the piece as a freestanding relief, not a flat drawing in space, such as the photograph might suggest. I like that – maybe because I’m a painter, but probably because I just like relief. The work seems as successful as any for what it does, and I doubt that any more fully rounded sculpture is going to entirely lack similar dead spots. The trick is to conjure them away through the glamour of art.

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-613321 Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:50:04 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-613321 In response to Robert Linsley on David Smith’s ‘Australia’, if it can be said of any sculpture that at some point or points a particular ‘view’ barely exists then it is hard (at least for me)to conclude that such a work can present a wholly sculptural visual experience. I very much like ‘Australia’ as a work of art but not on the grounds of its complexity of three-dimensionality. I have yet to be persuaded by the concept of suggested three-dimensionality or the (admittedly elegant)argument of Clement Greenberg’s in relation to three-dimensionality that Emyr Williams has posted on this thread (a belated thank-you for that Emyr).

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-612801 Mon, 09 Jun 2014 02:26:10 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-612801 I can say that the end views of Australia, or any other piece by David Smith of that type, do not compromise the work at all, because parts of it tilt slightly to the front of the main plane and others to the back. It’s not flat but a kind of three dimensional low relief – a very odd idea. You can’t see those slight deviations without coming close, but the dead on end view barely exists – one looks at the ends from a slight angle to the front or back, the best way to see how those pieces bend, and one actually tends to slip across the end quickly, without staying there. All that seems to me very interesting, and to have its own value.

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-611132 Sat, 07 Jun 2014 17:19:53 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-611132 A thought on ‘literal’ three-dimensionality. Whether an object is a sculpture or a kettle, football, plate etc. it can be scrutinised to determine the nature of its three-dimensionality by looking at its physical character-material, shape etc. and what purpose has been facilitated by and through its making. The character of course of the three-dimensionality of most objects/matter will be determined by function. Functional objectives determine material, shape, form, size etc. and thus dictate specific three-dimensionality. Although sculpture is not subject to the demands of practical functionality but by those factors (sometimes known sometimes not)that are driving the maker its three dimensionality will still be realised and revealed by and through its material, form, shape, size, texture, colour and so on. The degree of successful three-dimensionality of any sculpture might be measured by how well its sculptural character functions and is manifest from any given view-point. As yet I have no thoughts on ‘suggested’ three dimensionality and am probably suspicious of such a notion!

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By: Tim Scott http://abstractcritical.com/article/steel-sculpture-part-i-from-gabo-to-caro/#comment-526076 Mon, 05 May 2014 22:44:45 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8072#comment-526076 Aren’t we confusing LITERAL three dimensionality (Moore) with SUGGESTED three dimensionality; a three dimensionality which is spoken of , evoked, by the forms and fashioning, of the sculpture (Smith); a three dimensionality of Result ?
All matter is three dimensional; it is only when three dimensionality is used as a force for conveying feeling and truth (in sculpture) that it matters.
Compare the original Matisse papers with their printed facsimiles and all is clear.

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