In his review of Sculpture by the Sea and another Australian show of small sculptures,Christopher Allen notes:
"What makes good sculpture is at once simple and complex. There has to be an idea or subject, but not one that can be explained in conceptual terms; that is superficial and sterile.
There has to be a material into which the idea or subject can be embodied. The material must undergo transformation; and it must have its own distinct and even stubborn character, so that the transformation is a kind of metamorphosis.
That is why it is a waste of time to make sculptures out of bits and pieces or to use materials that have no resistance, such as industrial resins and plastics.
It is also pointless to make models of things that are already human artefacts and thus finite in form.
The real idea or subject has to be non-finite and complex; the process of representing it has to involve invention and imagination, not simply copying and scaling up."
I reject his objections regarding assembled sculpture and choice of materials, but other than that I thought he made some good points. Indeed, looking at the sculptures, there isn't much memorable there, many have no character, no aim. Is that why much contemporary sculpture fails to connect with audiences?
How do you guys see the state of contemporary sculpture?
Here is the whole article: