Sculpture After 1945 The Curator's choice

The Choice of the Curators, V

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Panamarenko (Henri Van Herwegen) : “Thundercloud”, 1971. Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv. 12151

This arrangement shows a selection of works from the collection of modern sculpture from the period 1945 until today. The selected works of art reflect a number of important developments which determined the sight of modern sculpture from an iconographic, material-technical and a theoretical point of view.

As in painting, the importance of the human figure in postwar European sculpture gradually diminishes. With the pursuit of a strong expression of the material expression the traditional image of mankind is affected. First in the solidity of the form, then it dissolves to virtually disappear from the modern register. The interest shifts from the non-object bound forms -organic and geometric- to the intrinsic power of expression and sensory qualities of materials, to the game of volume and space, of structure and skin. Stone carving, bronze casting and forging iron are no longer the exclusive techniques the sculptor uses to express his ideas. From the beginning of the 1960s the assemblage, which brings together existing objects, fragments of these objects and different materials, is the renewed face of sculpture. Additionally in the United States a particular tendency to desubjectification appears. Minimalist artists conduct a thorough investigation into the meaning, the condition and the necessity of sculpture. In Italy, a young generation focuses on the tactile qualities of materials, processes and transience and looks back on the great antique tradition. Their preference for everyday materials can be recognized in the awkward but touching handiwork with which the fictive scientists shape their own world.

Artists: Carl Andre, Arman, Lothar Baumgarten, Marcel Broodthaers, Pol Bury, César, Lynn Chadwick,  Christo, David Claerbout, Roel d’Haese, Haydn Davis, Willy De Sauter, Luc  Deleu, Eugène Dodeigne, Barry Flanagan, Dan Flavin, Paul Gees, Vik Gentils, Robert Jacobsen, Donald Judd, Fritz Koenig, Yvonne Kracht, Berto Lardera, Walter Leblanc, Richard Long, Henry Moore , Olga Morano, David Nash,  Louise Nevelson , Panamarenko , Giuseppe Penone, Nicholas Pope,  Ulrich Rückriem,  Jan Vercruysse, Didier Vermeiren.

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