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esse arts + opinions

Numéro 75, printemps-été 2012, p. 79

Objets animés / Living Things

Direction : Sylvette Babin (directrice)

Rédaction : Sylvette Babin (rédactrice en chef)

Éditeur : Les éditions esse

ISSN : 0831-859X (imprimé)  1929-3577 (numérique)

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Damian Moppett, Collected Works, Rennie Collection, Vancouver, November 26, 2011 – April 21, 2012

Kathleen Ritter

Résumé | Extrait

The work of Damian Moppett subjects the history of art to a precarious balancing act, a suspension of belief, and a number of catastrophic falls. His survey exhibition at the Rennie Collection is testament to this, bringing together work from the last fifteen years, spanning the breadth of his practice in its sweeping range of painting, drawing, sculpture, and video. The collected works represent an intensely thoughtful and self-reflexive investigation of the practice of making art, characterized by an effacing monumentality and deadpan wit. A gigantic Alexander Calder-like mobile, more than twenty-five feet tall, is suspended from the ceiling, high above viewers’ heads. Bright red aluminum disks branch out like tentacles, each piece carefully balanced on the other in a play of levity and movement, as if in spite of their massive scale and weight. One piece, however, appears to have fallen and lies haphazardly on the ground. Is it a prank? A trap? Moppett’s most recent work, Broken Fall — both an homage and an irreverent doubling — is a culmination of his interests to date. Throughout the exhibition a series of “stabiles,” or floor-based mobiles, appropriate the form of modernist sculpture as a base for amateur ceramics. Apparent tensions — between craft and high art, amateurism and expertise, manufactured and handmade — rest in careful balance in these works, often literally. In a similar vein is Studio at Dawn, a fifteen-foot long steel form modeled after Anthony Caro’s Early One Morning. Instead of Caro’s original red, Moppett has painted it matte white (camouflaging it within the framing devices of the gallery: walls, plinths, etc.) and placed handmade pottery on its surface. The pottery is a lure, drawing one into the space of the sculpture, whose massive size, long bars, and sharp edges suspended high in the air, appear subtly threatening. Moppett’s work is often described through its referentiality. Indeed, this work is hyper-aware of its historical...

Auteur : Kathleen Ritter
Ouvrage recensé : Damian Moppett, Collected Works, Rennie Collection, Vancouver, November 26, 2011 – April 21, 2012
Revue : esse arts + opinions, Numéro 75, printemps-été 2012, p. 79
URI : http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/66442ac

Tous droits réservés © Kathleen Ritter, 2012

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