Richard Wentworth rose to popularity in the late ‘70s as part of the New British Sculpture Movement, defined by their collective reaction against Minimalist and Conceptual art, there was a notable return to the use of a wide range of techniques of fabrication and even the use of traditional materials and methods such as carving in stone and marble. Figurative and metaphoric imagery reappeared together with poetic or evocative titles.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Peter Freeman, Inc. Arhive
New works by Richard Wentworth are on presentation at Peter Freeman, Inc. in New York. His work, encircling the notion of objects and their use as part of our day-to-day experiences, has altered the traditional definition of sculpture as well as photography. By transforming and manipulating industrial and/or found objects into works of art, Wentworth subverts their original function and extends our understanding of them by breaking the conventional system of classification. The sculptural arrangements play with the notion of ready-made and juxtaposition of objects that bear no relation to each other. In the new works, riffs on lintels, elemental to architecture, Wentworth employs “dumb materials,” he says—or the amateur armaments of “ownership,” which have strange connections beyond their modesty. Shards of glass from discarded bottles, have a decorative energy, not least because of their color and our ability to be fascinated by danger and spot threatening shapes. Wentworth never uses a material without consideration of its anthropological roots—and a sense of the moments of clarity that can emerge from the overlaps among seemingly unrelated things that surround us. For instance, he draws multiple meaningful connections between Gaudi architecture—a real statement of Modernismo for the Catalans—and the folkloric energy of Simon Rodia’s Los Angeles Watts Towers.
Info: Peter Freeman, Inc., 140 Grand Street, New York, Duration: 7/11-22/12/17, Days & Hours: Tue-Sat 10:00-18:00, www.peterfreemaninc.com