Thursday, 19 December 2013
Akua-Ba - John Skeaping
At first, this self-consciously primitive work by British modernist sculptor John Skeaping seems the total opposite of last week's Maillol. There are no direct allusions to a classical past here. It's not even in bronze. He's just gone and carved it out of some wood, like a poor person. But it's not totally dissimilar. Both are still, calm works, with a fine sense of balance. There's a thick monumentality to both forms, that in the Maillol, feels like a nod to primitivism, and in the Skeaping, like a tip of the hat to classicism. While the blank eyes of the Maillol gaze into nothingness, however, those of the Skeaping look directly out into our world. Maillol's Venus is a goddess concerned with her own god-business. Skeaping's sitting woman wants to connect.