The National Capital Network of Sculptors is offering some insight into sculpture appreciation in this new blog post called Sculpture Lovers. Have you been out to a gallery and loved a sculpture, but wondered how you could place it into your home to its best advantage? The next few weeks we will be showing you some of the ways that other art lovers present their work. Don’t forget to mark your calendars and come browse the fine collection of over 100 works at our 18th annual Sculpture Exhibit, DIMENSIONS. It’s taking place at Lansdowne Park’s Horticultural Building, October 20th to 23rd.
Mary Ceruti of the SculptureCenter offers her perspective into this world in today’s bog post, an excerpt of an interview by Andrew Goldstein.
What should one take into consideration when regarding a piece of sculpture?
You should walk around it, of course, and see it in a 360-degree context. Then you should think about how it relates to the ground and the space around it—that’s always an issue for a sculptor. The other thing that I think is great about sculpture and that I think is important when you’re collecting sculpture on a smaller scale—things that can fit on a table, or a shelf—is the fact that you can pick it up and hold it, and it has weight. It’s an amazing thing. For instance, Ugo Rondinone‘s cast-bronze apple is painted very realistically, so that when you apprehend it you absolutely mistake it for an apple. But it’s cast in bronze and it’s filled with lead—it weighs so much more than you would expect, so it’s a very strange experience when you pick it up. This kind of haptic experience is something that only sculpture offers you, and only the collector gets to experience the piece in that way.
What are some of the ways that people live with sculpture? How do they incorporate sculpture into their homes, and into their lives?
It’s as simple as putting a sculpture on your side table, or a piece in a fireplace, so that almost everywhere you look there is something unusual. Like putting a sculpture in the entrance hall so that when people come in they encounter it. I’ve seen the whole gamut, and it’s only limited by the collector’s ambition and imagination.
Would you recommend that people buy sculpture when they are considering building a collection?
Absolutely. The only reason someone who is really interested in contemporary art wouldn’t collect sculpture is because they have some prejudice about how much space they have, which I think they could get over. Since the field of sculpture has expanded to engage almost all the other media, it’s so much a part of the contemporary art discourse that to ignore it is to ignore a vast part of what contemporary art is about. You can’t really avoid it.
In a funny way, that puts a positive spin on Barnett Newman’s famous quote that “sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to see a painting.”
It’s true—it’s unavoidable! And that’s not a bad thing.