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Fig. 16


Controller of the Universe, 2007, Damián Ortega, found tools and wire, Malmö Konsthall. During a stay in Berlin, the artist collected various tools in the city’s flea markets. These are assembled in an installation of free-floating objects. The arrangement of the tools follows the idea of an exploded drawing. Each element seems to be propelled outwards from an invisible centre into the surrounding space.


Modern and contemporary sculpture


Today’s sculptural concepts, materials or methods of production are free from the restrictions of the past.


Contemporary sculpture is often abstract and uses negative space in interesting and imaginative ways (Fig. 16).


It is often capable of movement. As well as being carved, modelled or cast, it can be assembled, glued, projected or constructed in a wide variety of ways.


How to look at sculpture


As with painting, having the tools and vocabulary to describe sculpture will help you to look at it with a more critical and appreciative eye.


Elements of sculpture


The two main elements of sculpture are mass and space.


* Mass is the actual solid bulk of the sculpture. * Space is the air around it.


Some sculptors focus on mass. Others are more concerned with how it relates to the space. This space defines the edges of the sculpture and can be enclosed, for example in a hollow.


xviii APPRECIATING ART


Fig. 17 Parachute by Dorothy Cross, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Parachute is a good example of bricolage (artwork composed of different and unusual materials that happen to be immediately available). These objects may be considered old, useless, devalued and of no particular value. Cross reclaims these and creates unusual juxtapositions in new and different ways.


Dorothy Cross describes her art objects (in the case of Parachute, a dead bird) as ‘characters’. What do you think the artist is trying to communicate to us in relation to nature and our role in and with nature?

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