PLASTER! An exhibition on the infinite possibilities of a misunderstood medium
This exhibition will be part of Stand Out, a special section curated by Luke Syson for Frieze Masters.
Plaster as a material for creating sculpture has been used since antiquity. Throughout the centuries it was the medium for an artist's first creative ideas. It could not only serve as a model to transfer those ideas into marble or bronze but also as a way to faithfully copy and preserve them. Without plaster, the ideas of the antique world would never have been disseminated so widely from the Renaissance onwards and notably by the great art academies of Europe. Many works of sculpture presented at the official Salon in Paris were first exhibited in plaster.
Plaster is not always white; its natural appearance can be concealed by tinting to resemble bronze and terracotta or be polychromed and even gilded. For Auguste Rodin plaster was a preferred means of expression – his virtuoso handling of the material held infinite possibilities. Yet, almost paradoxically, a medium so close to the artist’s hand has often been incorrectly regarded as secondary in a sculptor’s oeuvre.
PLASTER!, featuring sculptures by Rodin, Jean-Joseph Carriès, Théodore Géricault, Arnold Böcklin, Germaine Richier, Maria Bartuszová and Rachel Whiteread amongst others, challenges this view and aims to refocus our attention and understanding of the medium within the world of sculpture.