Richard Deacon is an artist who certainly doesn’t do things by halves, as a vast show at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp entitled Some Time proves.
The exhibition features 31 works including monumental and small-scale pieces installed throughout the sculpture park and museum, and is focused on a new commission that resurrects Deacon’s 1993 work Never Mind, which has been re-fabricated in stainless steel. Elsewhere visitors will see six of the 35 ‘Infinity’ works, the 2007 Some More for the Road series, and Alphabet U, Y and Z (2015).
The breadth of the work on show underscore’s Deacon’s skill in working with a hugely diverse range of materials, from laminated wood to stainless steel, corrugated iron, polycarbonate, marble, clay, vinyl, foam and leather. “This fascination with the possibilities of the most diverse materials propels him from one work to the next, bending the laws of what is incompatible to create complex, flowing shapes that charge and retreat, climb and descend,” says the gallery. “Deacon leaves visible the screws and rivets in his work so that the viewer is constantly reminded of the process of making.”
The title of the show, Some Time, is said to refer “to both the provisional nature of time and, more literally, to a short period of time”. The choice of name is indicative of the artist’s emphasis on the importance of language as well as materiality, and underscores his interests in a conceptual interrogation of sculpture and linguistics, as well as poetry and philosophical texts.
Sara Weyns, director at Middelheim Museum, says: “Richard Deacon belongs to a generation of artists who continue to keep the relevance and importance of sculpture at the forefront, especially in a context where the connection between materiality and concept becomes ever more complex.”