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Natalie Guy: Modern with a petit m

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Natalie Guy: Modern with a petit m | Holt Gallery

30 June - 5 August 2018

Modernist objects or objets d'art that were prevalent in mid-century interiors are now very collectable. Loaded with design memories and assumptions especially around style and taste, today the objects and style of this era often dictate contemporary aesthetics in both private interiors and gallery showrooms.

Natalie Guy presents these totemic sculptures taking this idea as the catalyst for this series of work that could be termed ‘pseudo-modernism’. Baring all the appearance of modernism, these sculptures are bronze casts of found objects, the bronze having afforded permanence to a once humble object. Items as commonplace and familiar as plywood school chairs are reworked, creating an ambiguity in what Guy calls ‘recognition with a twist’. The new objects are neither props nor décor, perhaps sitting easily in a modernist collector’s apartment or an institutionalised museum collection.

Guy cites Barbara Hepworth’s series of Forms as a major influence on Modern with a petit m. In the 1960s sculptors including Hepworth began experimenting with different approaches to creating their work. Biomorphic abstraction and varied surfaces became characteristic of this modern sculpture, of which Hepworth was a leading proponent. Guy playfully suggests the circular holes and pitted surfaces of Hepworth’s Forms series in these sculptures, albeit on a more domestic scale.

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