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On Sculpture

Magdalena Abakanowicz: “I turn sculpture from an object to look at into a space to experience.”

Matthew Harris: “Sculpture is as much about the space that it contains and surrounds, as it is about the work itself. Texture, form, space, light and shadow, context, material, and process combine creating lasting visual music.”

Barbara Hepworth: “The sculptor must search with passionate intensity for the underlying principle of the organization of mass and tension — the meaning of gesture and the structure of rhythm.

Louis Kahn: “When you are designing in brick, you must ask brick what it wants or what it can do. Brick will say, ‘I like an arch’. You say ‘But arches are difficult to make, they cost more money. I think you could use concrete across your opening equally as well’. But the brick says, ‘I know you’re right, but if you ask me, I like an arch’.”

Maya Lin: “Installation could be described as an attempt to speak to the mind in the languages of the body: space, substance, systems, sensation.”

Richard Serra: “Once the sculpture got off the pedestal, and you became the subject, the subject and the content matter is your experience.”

Karen Wilkin: “From the 1960s on, . . . sculptures began to inhabit our own space, declaring their difference from other things in the real world by refusing to resemble anything pre-existing . . . such once-taken-for-granted conditions as coherence, objecthood, and material integrity appeared unessential. Why should a sculpture have to be hard? Or singular? Or tangible in any way? Or even visible?”


Last updated 1.21.2019

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