Whitford Fine Art
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© Whitford Fine Art 2017

Clive Barker: Objects for Contemplation

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Whitford Fine Art, 2013. £8.00

For over half a century now, Clive Barker has cast or fabricated sculptures in bronze and other metals largely from found objects and finished them impeccably in a variety of surfaces, sometimes polished or plated in gold or silver so that they gleam like luxury commodities, sometimes painted or given a more traditionally artistic patina. Dispensing with the conventional tools of the sculptor and considering even a studio to be superfluous, he has instead concentrated his attention on choosing the objects that he takes to the foundry for casting - often with minimal apparent alteration - and on presiding over the process with absolute attention to detail but with scant need for his personal manual intervention. The conceptual rigour of his procedure, based on his observations as a very young man of the assembly-line methods employed in a car factory at which he was working, has paradoxically gone hand-in-hand with an intense subjectivity in his selection and an insistence on the sensuous physicality of the objects that are the end-product of a step-by-step process born of a kind of daydream. Given the wide-ranging nature of his imagery, it is impressive to witness how this hands-off approach results repeatedly in sculptures that not only look confident and inevitable but that consistently bear the stamp of his artistic vision.

Marco Livingstone