After the well-received exhibition of works by Tony Cragg in 2019, the audience in Split and Croatia will now, for the first time, have an opportunity to get acquainted with the work of another extremely important and internationally renowned British sculptor, Richard Deacon. The exhibition staged in the Kula Gallery and the atrium of the Museum of Fine Arts will present, through a selection of 22 works created in the last twenty years, different aspects of Deacon’s exceptionally interesting oeuvre.
Richard Deacon (1949, Bangor, Wales, UK) is primarily recognized for his impressive biomorphic and abstract sculptures that have emerged as a result of exploring the language of sculpture as a medium and an experiment with various materials and processes of its production. Together with the aforementioned Tony Cragg, and Anish Kapoor, Richard Wentworth and Bill Woodrow, Richard Deacon belongs to the generation of exceptional British sculptors who established themselves on the international scene in the 1980s, and who based their works on theoretical considerations that were prevalent on the international scene after minimalism and post-minimalism. Although they each developed their own style, what is common to all the above artists, including Deacon, is fascination with the process of creating sculpture, ideas that prompted that creation and, of course, the wide array of materials they used that would ultimately determine the final form of the sculpture. When he describes his practice of creating sculptures, Deacon often points out that he is “a fabricator, not a carver or a modeller”. He calls himself ‘a fabricator’ thus placing an emphasis on significant and long-term collaborations with experts and craftsmen in workshops, but also the creative process of making sculptures (fabrication – meaning production, but also invention, fiction).
The exhibition in Split presents a selection of works created in the last twenty years and includes works made from aluminium, steel, paper, wood and ceramics. Deacon’s specific creative process that, depending on the material and process of production, results in a variety of forms, can thus clearly be read in works ranging from the aluminium sculpture Tub (1999), through the steel Assembly Models (2008), the paper verticals titled Housing (2012) to his ceramic works. Deacon’s ceramics have often been highlighted as the most unusual part of his practice for their marked spontaneity, experimental character and polychromy.
Between 1969 and 1978, Richard Deacon (1949, Bangor, Wales, UK) studied art at Saint Martin’s School of Art, the Royal College of Art and Chelsea School of Art in London. He was a visiting lecturer at various British and international art academies. He was a professor at the L’École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris and at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. His first one-man show was held in 1978 at The Gallery, Brixton in London which led to a string of solo exhibitions - Riverside Studios 1984; Tate Gallery, London, 1985; the Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1988 and Tate Gallery Liverpool 1999. He was one of the artists representing Wales at the 52nd Biennale of Art in Venice in 2007. He participated in many key group exhibitions throughout the world, including the 1983 Sao Paolo Biennale, the 1985 Carnegie International, the 1989 Sydney Biennial, Dokumenta lX in 1992. Deacon’s first large retrospective exhibition was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg (2010) and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover (2011). In 2014, his major retrospective was shown at Tate Britain in London, and at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in 2015. A large exhibition of his drawings and prints was organized at the Folkwang Museum in Essen in 2016. Since the 1990s, he has been commissioned to create large public sculptures around the world. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Turner Prize in 1987. In 1998 he was elected a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts, and in 2010 elected a member of the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin. He lives and works in London.
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