P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents Richard Deacon: Recent Work, a major exhibition of artwork by British sculptor Richard Deacon. For this occasion, Deacon (b. 1949) presents five new works from the (Infinity) series created for P.S.1's outdoor galleries. Made of interlocking stainless steel modules, the works are installed throughout the main outdoor gallery and appear to "float" above the surface of the ground. Deacon addresses the relationship between public and private space, sensuality and the body, as well as memory, poetry, and language. This exhibition also includes Where is Man and Where is Death? (2001), and two photographic works, Los Angeles #1 (2001) and Whitesands Bay #1 (2001). Richard Deacon: Recent Work is curated by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.
With the (Infinity) series, Deacon pushes the limits of the notion of "skin," working with the concept of "non-shape" to explore the relationship between boundary and fluidity. The artist begins with a modular shape that is defined by nodes and recesses, suggesting an organic, molecular structure. The final form of each work is not predetermined, and the modular shape an individual panel allows for the possibility of infinite recombination. With their puckered and highly polished surfaces, the appearance of the interrelated works seems to shift, being at once fixed and fluid, being both formed and formless.
Deacon was artistic advisor for the renovations and redesign of P.S.1's 25,000-square-foot "outdoor galleries," which opened in 1997. The outdoor galleries are unique in providing Deacon a space for formal presentation of artwork while remaining open to the fluctuations of the real world. A second outdoor sculpture, Where is Man and Where is Death? (2001) is a curving asphalt and gravel form that appears to emerge from the ground. Three aluminum planks are set into the asphalt loop, which interrupt its continuous flow. In contrast to his previous monumental sculptures, Where is Man and Where is Death?, along with the sculptures, exists on a more human scale, with viewers allowed to walk on and over it.
Richard Deacon was born in Bangor, Wales, in 1949, and lives and works in London. He is one of a generation of British sculptors who came to international recognition during the 1980s, and he was awarded Britain's Turner Prize in 1987. Deacon's works have been presented in solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery, Whitechapel Art Gallery, and the Tate Gallery in London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris; and a major retrospective at the Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1999. His works has been exhibited at numerous group exhibitions, including Skulptur Projekte, Münster (1987, 1997) and Documenta IX, Kassel (1992).