Tantalized bodies

Australian-born artist Ron Mueck, renowned for his sculpture 'Dead Dad', shown at the Sensation exhibition in 1997, has created a distinctive body of hyper-real sculpture whose startling power and strangeness have given a fresh impulse to modern sculpture. This catalogue accompanied the show at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, which provided Mueck with the opportunity to create new sculptures, two of which are gigantic.
Whether monumental or smaller than life-size, Ron Mueck’s sculptures are so lifelike that they seem to breathe. Veins, wrinkles, body hair, blemishes… no detail is neglected. The result is so perfect that the resemblance to ‘real life’ is disturbing.
This catalogue includes several photographic essays, commissioned specially to follow the artist through the different phases of his work. In London, a series of photographs was realised in Mueck’s studio over a six-month period. The completed sculptures were then photographed in their exhibition environment at the Fondation Cartier.
An analytical text by Robert Rosenblum, richly illustrated by Mueck’s sculptures, studies his work from the perspective of classical and modern art history.

Mueck's stunning and carefully crafted sculpture has catapulted him into the first rank of the contemporary art world. Exploring reality's ambiguous relationship with artifice. Brilliantly employing the strategies of imitation and illusion, he creates figures that express the contradictions between the real world and the world of the imaginary. His lifelike figures with their veins, wrinkles, sagging skin, and moles have been crafted to such perfection that the remarkably convincing result is deeply perturbing.
Ron Mueck is the son in law of the portuguese acclaimed painter Paula Rego.

Robert Rosenblum is Henry Ittleson Jr. Professor of Modern European Art, Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Ron Mueck, by Robert Rosenblum
Distributed on behalf of Fondation Cartier


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