Artist

Richard Deacon

About

Richard Deacon’s voluptuous abstract forms have placed him at the helm of British sculpture since the 1980s and, hugely influential, his works are visible in major public commissions around the world. His voracious appetite for material has seen him move between laminated wood, stainless steel, corrugated iron, polycarbonate, marble, clay, vinyl, foam and leather, as if each sculpture were defined by contrast to its successor. As he explained in an interview in 2005, “Changing materials from one work to the next is a way of beginning again each time (and thus of finishing what had gone before)”. Deacon describes himself as a ‘fabricator’, emphasising the construction behind the finished object – although many of the works are indeed cast, modelled or carved by hand – and accordingly the logic of the fabrication is often exposed: sinuous curved forms might be bound by glue oozing between layers of wood or have screws and rivets protruding from sheets of steel, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Such transparency highlights the reactive nature of the process: it is part of a two-way conversation between artist and material that transforms the workaday into something metaphorical. The idea of ‘fabrication’ also denotes making something up, of fiction rather than truth, and this knack for wordplay surfaces in Deacon’s titles, which might establish juxtapositions or wreak new meaning from familiar sayings or clichés – see Let’s not be Stupid (1991), No Stone Unturned (1999) or Water Under the Bridge (2008).

Top Locations

London, Wakefield, Berlin

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3

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