13.5 x 13.5 x 11.5 cm
London, Karsten Schubert, Alison Wilding: All Cats Are Grey, 17 June - 30 July 2010
Manchester, The Whitworth, Alison Wilding, 16 February - 12 August 2018
Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion, Alison Wilding: Right Here and Out There, 23 June - 16 September 2018
DescriptionIn 1966 Art critic Lucy Lippard coined the phrase 'eccentric abstraction', identifiying a new strain of sculptural practice, no longer tied solely to the achievments of large-scale modernist sculpture, nor, quite, to the minimalist or 'specific object'. Rather, the new work (Lippard included Hesse, Nauman and Bourgeois alongside Gary Kuehn, Alice Adams and Don Potts) heralded a shift away from minimalist geometirc abstraction, towards a new mode of abstraction that was at turns, erotic, surreal, playful and tense [...] Familiar materials were rendered unfamiliar and; at the same time, other, more surprising materials - latex, rubber fabric - were incroporated, balanced and interwoven with each other. Something of this confusion of forms and muddling of materials to eccentric ends is captured in works by Wilding such as Nature: Blue and Gold (1984) and Nudge (2009), in which semi-recognisable forms appear as though mobile, and subject to change. Fugurng variously as natural or laboratory specimens - whether animal or plant - these two multi-part eccentric objects register as images of the fantastical, the animate and obscure; alien life forms grown in petri dishes or outer space. Their variegated surface invite us to caress their strange contours, to determine whether they are pliable, hard or soft. The works' ability to conjure such a range of hard to pin down forms and respomses is an instance perhaps of what Cooke described as the mode of 'sensate' thinking produced by Wilding's sculpture, or wehat Lippard dubbed the eccentric objects' 'abstract-erotic' appeal.
1. Jo Applin and Briony Fer, Alison Wilding, Lund Humphries in association with Ridinghouse, 2018, p55-62