Academic views

AN EXPLORATION OF INNER WORLDS

Sculpture has undergone such a revolution over the last few decades, or more particularly since the 1950s, both in how it is made and what it puts forward on a philosophical level, that we can no longer treat it as some poor relation and assign it a perpetually limited place.

As we have shifted from modernism to post-modernism, from an industrial society to a post-industrial society, and from the rise of social and critical thought to the collapse of ideologies, we have witnessed a fundamental questioning of the accepted idea of sculpture, with the development of all sorts of notions including the weird, the random and the ephemeral, alongside the use of new materials and methods, and a different concept of space.

While retaining her own artistic autonomy, Val was fully aware of all these changes and was conscious in the advances she made in her own work of the tribute she owed to her predecessors. Sculpture is no longer limited by the demands of commemorative statuary or the constraints of blocks and pedestals: it has shifted its focus away from planes and into space, building on its inherent connection with its surroundings and operating instead as a sign. Formalism has become mainstream, but there are many sculptors on the fringes who do not see form as sufficient in and of itself and who continue to hold that there should be a close connection with reality as well as with their chosen material. Through the issues they explore in their work, they reflect on man’s place in present-day society and at the same time question what the future holds. [ + ]

AN EXPLORATION OF INNER WORLDS

        Sculpture has undergone such a revolution over the last few decades, or more particularly since the 1950s, both in how it is made and what it puts forward on a philosophical level, that we can no longer treat it as some poor relation and assign it a perpetually limited place.

        As we have shifted from modernism to post-modernism, from an industrial society to a post-industrial society, and from the rise of social and critical thought to the collapse of ideologies, we have witnessed a fundamental questioning of the accepted idea of sculpture, with the development of all sorts of notions including the weird, the random and the ephemeral, alongside the use of new materials and methods, and a different concept of space.

        While retaining her own artistic autonomy, Val was fully aware of all these changes and was conscious in the advances she made in her own work of the tribute she owed to her predecessors. Sculpture is no longer limited by the demands of commemorative statuary or the constraints of blocks and pedestals: it has shifted its focus away from planes and into space, building on its inherent connection with its surroundings and operating instead as a sign. Formalism has become mainstream, but there are many sculptors on the fringes who do not see form as sufficient in and of itself and who continue to hold that there should be a close connection with reality as well as with their chosen material. Through the issues they explore in their work, they reflect on man’s place in present-day society and at the same time question what the future holds. [ + ]

Gérard Xuriguera about French sculptor Val - Valérie Goutard - with Sculptureval