Richard Deacon

Twist and Shout


Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout

Press release

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce an exhibition of seven new sculptures in wood, aluminum, stainless steel and ceramic by British sculptor Richard Deacon. TWIST AND SHOUT, his second solo exhibition in the gallery follows on the success of his major retrospective at the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg (from 5 June to 19 September 2010).

Deacon will present two new wooden sculptures that elevate to a new height his continuing exploration of twisted, steamed wood, bracketed by steel strips and screws. Over the years, the artist has developed a personal vocabulary of curled and spiraled shapes taking wood out of its static role, insinuating a lithe and sensuous aspect, little-seen in contemporary sculpture.

The two new wooden works will suggest quite opposite characters. In the first, a box-like structure will be slotted inside a more solid, upright form that is almost like a formalist, architectural construction; while the second, will suggest a more spontaneous, free and lyrical combination of five paired and twisted columns, connected at the top and appearing as if to hang in space.

Surrounding these two sculptures, on the walls of the main gallery, will be three typological works in aluminum and stainless steel, measuring over three meters high. They are part of an ongoing discussion of forms that Deacon has called "Alphabets". They lean against the wall, while touching the floor and exist somewhere between a wall drawing, a relief and a freestanding sculpture. Alphabet A, for example, in brushed stainless steel is made up of three interlocking structures that fall into each other in an organic and geometrical way with skewed angulations; whereas, Alphabet B, in aluminum, portrays a more pentagram-like nature. Its overall structure is formed around a central seven-sided void space where interlocking triangles form a pattern that evolves into a much larger seven-sided rosace. Within this matrix, the viewer can read other forms like trapezoids, stars and hexagons.

We will also be showing two new sculptures from Deacon's very recent experimentation, casting clay in water resistant cardboard, which disappears when it is fired, revealing an object whose inside surface is yet to be discovered. These sculptures are abstract in appearance but their titles suggest the real material used to prepare the object. About the sculptures, Deacon writes, "I like their exploratory character and the combination of the simplicity of means with a sophistication in the material."

On the occasion of this exhibition, we will publish a book of Richard Deacon's Louvre lecture, In the Garden, delivered in April 2007 on the occasion of his participation in the Counterpoint III exhibition at the museum, curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac.

After many years on the faculty of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Deacon was invited in 2009 to join the faculty of the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie where he is now teaching. Additionally, two of Deacon's new sculptures, More free Assembly and Two By Two, are currently on display at the Musée Bourdelle in Paris in a group show titled En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît !, curated by Juliette Laffon, Director of the museum, until 19 September 2010.
His retrospective exhibition, The Missing Part, which closes at the museum in Strasbourg in September, will travel to the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, opening in January 2011.

Richard Deacon lives and works in London.