Abstract Sculpture

Participants: Garth Evans, Jock Ireland, Brandt Junceau

Jock Ireland: I suggested we read Tim Scott’s Abcrit essay on abstract sculpture: https://abcrit.org/2020/02/07/121-tim-scott-writes-on-abstract-sculpture/. I must say the discussion that resulted was NOT what I expected—but it’s a good start. There are many British sculptors on both sides of the Atlantic whose work rewards attention. Readers/listeners might want to visit the websites referred to in the discussion: Abcrit: https://abcrit.org/ Brancaster Chronicles: branchron.com

Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

I’m not really sure what’s going on, but there’s some sense that work which they call abstract has to be promoted/supported/engaged/encouraged and pushed—there’s some kind of goal that’s being pushed, some end, and Tim Scott’s essays are discussing that. –GARTH EVANS

I think we need to begin by just talking briefly about the word “abstract.” –GARTH EVANS

The thing that has sort of bothered me about Robin Greenwood for years—and I’ve been following his activity, his sculpture and the writing for a long time—everything has this label “abstract,” but when you ask him, “what does ‘abstract’ mean?” he refuses to answer. He says he doesn’t know. It can’t be defined—and that is sort of frustrating or whatever, but it’s also what has made the discussions interesting. –JOCK IRELAND

I don’t believe in abstraction. We’re people who live in an actual world in which all of this happens. There’s not more than one world. There’s not a physical plane and a non-physical plane. There’s only our physical world. –BRANDT JUNCEAU

I’m inclined to agree with you in one sense, Brandt—but on the other hand I’m inclined to disagree. –GARTH EVANS

Music is a great thing! –JOCK IRELAND

One could almost feel there’s a situation there that could provide a model for other artists around the world to support each other and each other’s work. –GARTH EVANS

Music is very physical. You’re literally touched by it. If it’s loud or bass enough you could actually feel yourself kind of strum to it. It’s apprehended and felt in a vastly allusive fashion. –GARTH EVANS

The thing is: as much as I don’t want to throw away the possibility of abstract concept, I can’t forget that it’s more than mediated by the physical world. It’s permitted and created and dependent on the physical world. Even the most weightless of mathematical conceptions reside in flesh and blood, you know, this Brie cheese of cells inside a box on top of our spine. That’s a fact. They don’t exist anywhere else. Nowhere else. –BRANDT JUNCEAU

There are elements that govern how we behave that it’s difficult to think of as other than immaterial. Values. What values do you live by? –GARTH EVANS

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3 thoughts on “Abstract Sculpture

  1. Thanks for correcting, Maud. Have a look at Ivon Hitchens too. Seems (to me) his work’s not unconnected to yours. . .

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  2. Comments about abstract sculpture keep flowing at Abcrit.com. Brandt, Maud, a new one from Richard Ward might interest you. Here’s part of it:

    “Is music really so abstract? Isn’t it an abstraction of the human voice?

    “. . .It’s not even always a particularly distant abstraction. The sounds and rhythms of some music played on a clarinet are not further removed from the sound of a mother talking to her baby than the shapes and colours of one of Ivon Hitchens’ more figurative paintings are removed from the look of the landscape that inspired them.”

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