Tate Britain, 5 February – 27 April 2014
In a career spanning more than four decades, Richard Deacon has employed materials ranging from laminated wood and polycarbonate to leather, cloth and clay, examples of which are included in the exhibition. He works on both domestic and large scales, combining organic forms with elements of engineering. His continuously changing methods of construction are a result of developments in his sculptural approach, reflected by his use of sinuous bent wood, contorted steel and highly glazed ceramics.
This exhibition at Tate Britain highlights Deacon’s interest in materials and their manipulation, as in After 1998, a large wooden work where the continuous and looping form balances volume and space. Also included are works from the small scale but materially rich series Art for Other People 1982– , that explore the notion of contemporary art being owned and enjoyed by anyone. Of particular note are Deacon’s early drawings It’s Orpheus When There’s Singing 1978: a suite of drawings built up from complex compound curves that influenced the organic forms of much of his subsequent sculpture, and the large, sixty-part, green ceramic sculpture Fold 2012.