Sculpture is one of history’s oldest art forms, dating back as far as 30,000 BCE. In ancient Greece, sculpture became the pinnacle of artists’ expression, presented in free form or often as an architectural element. In modern times, a range of moulding materials are used that have changed the nature of sculpture production. The traditional materials of wood, marble, clay, and bronze are still frequently utilised. However, with technological advances, new materials including PVC and stainless steel have provided further creative possibilities whilst inventions such as 3D printers have eased the production processes for editioned sculptures. Although sculpture is an art form in its own right, many sculptors work across both print making and sculpture to explore their concepts. Here are two of my favourite Australian artists who work across both disciplines:
George Baldessin’s radical figurative style came about when abstraction was dominant across both aquatint etchings and sculpture. His critically acclaimed sculpture Pear – version number 2 1971-72 (the Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra) is one of the artist’s most recognised works. The moulds for this sculpture were made of polystyrene foam, or otherwise known as the lost foam method. Each body of the pear was cast in two halves from top to bottom using Corten steel, specifically used to achieve an even rich, russet colour. The pear iconography, seen repeatedly across Baldessin’s print and sculptural mediums, conveys a sensuality of form and femininity. Whether through the smooth bronzed texture of his sculptures, or the sharp and bold outline of his etchings, Baldessin manages to create a harmony between both 2D and 3D representations.
Jock Clutterbuck has actively been creating prints and sculptures since the 1960s. Using aquatint etching as his primary printing process, his prints have a sophisticated and rhythmic style that is often replicated within his sculptures. Traditionally a copper sheet is used, however Clutterbuck uses magnesium – a very light and reactive material that can be etched using orange acidity. This allows Clutterbuck to create a sensitive soft ground etching, with a light yet defined line. This focus on line is replicated in his sculptures, incorporating multiple mediums from polyester resin to sheet aluminium. Cast iron and meticulously applied enamel paint are his most used mediums, with forms replicated across both print and sculpture.
HANNAH RYAN / Art Specialist
Banner Image: JOCK CLUTTERBUCK (born 1945) Small Extrapolated Landscape 1984, cast iron and enamel coating, 45 x 38 x 24cm | Sold for $3,750