Brancaster Chronicle No. 70: Anthony Smart Sculptures

The George Series No. 14, 2018-2019, H65cm
The George Series No. 14, 2018-2019, H65cm (all sculptures in mild steel and not in chronological order)

13th April 2019, the artist’s studio near King’s Lynn.

Taking part: Anthony Smart, Anne Smart, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Charley Greenwood, Hilde Skilton, Mark Skilton, Alexandra Harley, Noela James, Richard Ward, John Pollard, Emyr Williams.

The George Series No. 17, 2018-2019, H49cm
The George Series No. 17, 2018-2019, H49cm
The George Series No. 16, 2018-2019, H64cm
The George Series No. 16, 2018-2019, H64cm
The George Series No. 15, 2018-2019, H65cm
The George Series No. 15, 2018-2019, H65cm
The George Series No. 13, 2018-2019, H58cm
The George Series No. 13, 2018-2019, H58cm
The George Series No. 12, 2018-2019, H62cm
The George Series No. 12, 2018-2019, H62cm
The George Series No. 11, 2018-2019, H48cm
The George Series No. 11, 2018-2019, H48cm
The George Series No. 9, 2018-2019, H44cm
The George Series No. 9, 2018-2019, H44cm
The George Series No. 8, 2018-2019, H66cm
The George Series No. 8, 2018-2019, H66cm
The George Series No. 7, 2018-2019, H57cm
The George Series No. 7, 2018-2019, H57cm
The George Series No. 6, 2018-2019, H55cm
The George Series No. 6, 2018-2019, H55cm
The George Series No. 5, 2018-2019, H66cm
The George Series No. 5, 2018-2019, H66cm
The George Series No. 4, 2018-2019, H61cm
The George Series No. 4, 2018-2019, H61cm
The George Series No. 3, 2018-2019, H63cm
The George Series No. 3, 2018-2019, H63cm
The George Series No. 2, 2018-2019, H55cm
The George Series No. 2, 2018-2019, H55cm
The George Series No. 1, 2018-2019, H65cm
The George Series No. 1, 2018-2019, H65cm
10 comments
  1. Nick Ashton said:

    Tony, I like the way that these works are opening up and becoming more loose. They seem more relaxed and there is evidence that you have taken more risks in your approach.

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  2. tony smart said:

    Nick…thank you for taking time to look
    I appreciate your thoughts and take them as a positive.

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  3. Noela James said:

    The more I think about Tony’s concept of ‘volume’ the more it makes sense to me in relation to his work. I can understand it in relation to music in the sense that it is the silence between chords and sounds, the important connections within a piece of music. ‘Volume’ suggests more specific, sculptural, physical presence than ‘space’ in my mind, (I could even apply this to painting). The ends of passages of steel in the works are ready to connect and link through to other pieces throughout the sculpture, thereby creating a wholeness. I feel all the sculptures express this wholeness in different ways, 14,16,7,6, are the pieces that seem to demonstrate the ‘volume’ or ‘silence’ within them very clearly to me.

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  4. tony smart said:

    Noela
    thanks for that

    What you have said,suggests that you have interpreted my ‘punt’ in your own way …great.
    For me ‘fluid volume’ is hopefully one of many imaginative ways of bringing space and material together ,always with an eye on a ‘new’ three dimensionality
    Robin of course is right, in that the old use of ‘volume’ is object based.
    For new Abstract sculpture,the elements of sculpture of which volume is only one, need rethinking and their combinations reinventing……..continuously.
    Love ‘the silence’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hilde Skilton said:

    The constant inventive use of steel material captured my attention. It is difficult to involve the air within the space of a sculpture to the extent that this becomes active, produces a noise. Maybe no.1 came closest to this because the steel was played down, but still creating tension, tightening and releasing and the fluid nature of the air possibly being moved around , being part of the whole. All the work had a lot to offer, but l would have preferred less choice so that l could concentrate more on the specific nature of individual sculptures.

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  6. Mark Skilton said:

    The point that I was making when we all moved outside was, that there seemed to be a difference in intention between some of the works. Some were overtly physical characterised by lots of bending and twisting of material, while others were more simply worked but more visually complex. Physicality in sculpture as a means of information and structure has been around for a long time, eg. Element A puts pressure on element B, or element C holds back elementD . This cause and effect logic has been really useful in helping us read the work, but I suspect is becoming deterministic , and I think arose to prominence during the figure work we did some years back . The works we were looking at outside did not have this, they were much more visual in my opinion and more complex but less clear. I think this more visual approach is the way forward with complex three dimensionality away from the determinism of physicality in to a very wide and fluid kind of structure which is hard to comprehend and rather scary.

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    • Richard Ward said:

      Just for clarity, is „deterministic“ formulaic / conventionalised?
      Is this a temporary maleur of physicality in sculpture, to be relieved by concentration (at least for the moment) on the visual? Or do you see sculpture as a purely visual artform?
      It seems to me that the virtual space of a painting is not just seen but also felt in the sense that one feels how it might be to exist inside that space. I imagine that a sculpture may be not just seen but also felt in the slightly different sense that one feels how it might be to be the sculpture. Is this maybe an aspect of sculpture that is currently „squeezed out“ and empty as some aspects of figuration are currently squeezed out and empty in painting?

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  7. tony smart said:

    This ’cause and effect’ thing is not something i thought played any part in my sculpture today.

    Physicality for me is a vital part of what makes sculpture today and can be abstract. But not when thought of on its own. In the sense that material is itself physical and any involvement with that material will promote the ‘physical’.
    Whilst I agree that the balance between physical and any other aspect of sculpture can be varied,I can’t see how material, in some presented form,can give way to becoming purely visual.
    Previous experimentation in 60’s abstract sculpture to play up the visual, was seen to lack physicality when the work strayed outside of its 2 dimensional framework. For that reason I am back with three dimensionality. I’m back with all of it but not quite so quickly with the abstract.
    That is even more of an issue as it is the one that seems to be reorganising everything else.

    To envisage beyond the object ,including the body, requires a ‘tuning’ of the elements of the sculpture to maintain its own self referential status. Here is when I think we leave the ‘relations’ world of things and enter a world ,and it must be part of the world, or maybe not, of a non-relational stream of………,,,,,….and at this point it is up to the individual to choose the ‘what’ the ‘how’ and the ‘where’ of each piece of each piece of sculpture,each independent on it’s own terms…unique.
    And a stream that can slow down and quicken its pace, be noisy and become silent, create rhythm and break that rhythm, be open and at the same time be closed.To be responsive to the natural urge of the human to move in and around the unfamiliar, ‘ in time’, to offer meaning and stability to its ever changing content and keep going when an object would become boring and unfashionable! And a meaning that results from the constructing of sculpture, constructing together the elements of the art, of which material is only one.
    Obsessing over any of them alone can’t be a good idea. No wonder Mark closes his comment saying it is “scary’

    Not much in the way of ‘the new’ here…that’s to be uncovered in the work.

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  8. 3thanshaw said:

    The wiggliness of the sculptures is very striking. Don’t think I’ve ever seen sculptures so wiggly. Wish I could see them in person

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    • Tony Smart said:

      I take it your observation, which is very good, to mean that until recently, the majority of abstract sculpture has been made from flat planes or single curve surfaces.
      And it seems has not gone un-noticed by yourself that many sculptural positives can be accommodated,
      including some new ones, in this twisting and turning of thin plate.
      Thanks for the comment.

      Like

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