The show presents sculptures by Magdalene Odundo, accompanying almost 50 vintage Constantin Brâncuşi photographs.
At first, this may seem an idiosyncratic pairing, however, both Brâncuşi and Odundo share an anthropocentric sculptural practice, where the human form is abstracted but always present. Both artists share a deep fascination with the surface, the material qualities of the works themselves affording the opportunity to create shine and lustre that enhance the formal qualities of the object.
Brâncuşi, having trained with Rodin came late to photography when he was then mentored by Man Ray and Edward Steichen. Steichen frequently photographed Brâncuşi’s sculpture, famously Brâncuşi’s home was almost impossible to bathe in because the bath was always full of photographic prints. The centrepiece of this exhibition is an extraordinary grouping of Brâncuşi’s Mademoiselle Pogany photographs, in which he captured both the bronze and marble version of the sculpture.
Following the highly praised exhibition at Hepworth Wakefield and Sainsbury Centre entitled The Journey of Things in 2019, we present a small group of Odundo’s classic vessels with wide flared openings. The surfaces of these objects are highly burnished in a lengthy manual process that enhances their surface qualities. With no functional reason to exist these objects pass from being vessels into the realm of sculpture.
With thanks to David Grob, Bruce Silverstein and Anthony Slayter-Ralph