Richard Deacon Interview: It Doesn't Have an End



“I like messing around with materials,” says the hugely influential Turner Prize-winning sculptor Richard Deacon in this video. Watch him talk about his diverse approaches to making abstract sculptures in a vast catalogue of materials.

“The simpler the thing you’re interested in, the better it is.” Deacon likes to start with something simple, believing that if you start with something small, it can get bigger, whereas if you start with something big it can only get smaller. At one point Deacon was interested in making things without corners: “Because I thought corners posed problems.” He wanted his sculptures to have no “points of interruption,” which he felt could be done by making them curved.

Travelling in India, Deacon saw a number of carved caves as well as the ancient rock-cut temple Kailasa, which inspired him to make a sculpture by starting from something solid and taking away things until only the edges were left. By this, he also moved away from his earlier method of putting pieces together: “I thought, you can go the other way. You could start from the lump and you could take it apart, as it were, and that would give you another way of making sculptures.”

Richard Deacon (b. 1949 in Wales) is a British artist whose voluptuous abstract forms have placed him at the forefront of British sculpture since the 1980s. Deacon’s catalogue of materials is vast and diverse and has included laminated wood, stainless steel, corrugated iron, polycarbonate, marble, clay, vinyl, foam and leather. Solo exhibitions include San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego, Prague City Gallery in Prague, Tate Britain and Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City and Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In 2007 he represented Wales at the Venice Biennale, and he has also participated in Glasgow International (2006) and the documenta 9 in Kassel (1992). Deacon won the Turner Prize in 1987 and was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the Ministry of Culture, France in 1996 and was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1999. He lives and works in London. For more see: http://www.richarddeacon.net/

Richard Deacon was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Galleri Suanne Ottesen in Copenhagen in August 2018 in connection with the exhibition ‘Ian McKeever and Richard Deacon’.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea fonden

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