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"Transformations: A Century of Sculpture"
1999-06-13 until 1999-07-13
Queensland Art Gallery
South Brisbane, , AU Australia

This exhibition presents aspects of International and Australian figurative sculpture from the late nineteenth century to the present. It demonstrates the complex evolution of sculpture over the last century, a period of great change in this art form. The main focus is on the human figure and its transformation through the medium of bronze.

The exhibition opens with two works by Auguste Rodin, a great influence on 20th century sculpture. Smaller bronzes from late 19th/early 20th century explore the figure as an allegory and are presented with reference to their poetic sources, particularly Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid. Works by artists including Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, Charles Despiau, Alfred Gilbert and Bertram MacKennal drew on classical conventions of figurative sculpture that continued to be used up to the late nineteenth century.

Later 20th century sculptures explore the expressive body: Visitation by the renowned British sculptor Jacob Epstein, Mimmo Paladino's Night song, and works by Australian artists George Baldessin and Victor Meertens. Transformations also includes a major new acquisition by Mike Parr, Radio Daze (minus 17 - minus 53), a large installation comprising 220 drawing boards from the artist's studio and thirty-five cast bronze heads.

Figurative sculpture has endured as a tradition while sustaining enormous changes over the last century in artistic approach, materials, methods of exhibition and public reception. Artists continue to use the traditional medium of cast bronze for its flexibility, beauty and expressive sensual qualities.


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