Synopses & Reviews
Ron Mueck (b. 1958)and#160;is known for his extraordinarily lifelike sculptures of people in fragile, naked states: a postpartum woman, a crouching, cornered man, and, perhaps most famously, the body of his dead father. Mueck plays dramatically with scale; a newborn baby, with traces of afterbirth and blood, looms impressively over viewers, measuring sixteen feet from crown to foot, while a spooning half-clothed couple would fit easily on a coffee table. In each case, the amount of detailand#8212;individual pores and dimples, hairs and blemishesand#8212;is uncanny. The figures are disconcerting and yet impossible to resist. Mueck's obsessive attention to detail and craft has its beginnings in his early days as a model maker and puppeteer for films like Jim Henson's Labyrinth
. It was in 1997, when noted dealer Charles Saatchi discovered Mueck's work and included his sculpture Dead Dad
in the groundbreaking Sensation
show, that Mueck began to attract international attention. Today, the artist's sculptures are some of the most widely acclaimed, prominent, and identifiable works of contemporary art.and#160;
Produced in close collaboration with the artist, this beautifully illustrated book is the first to provide a comprehensive look at Mueck's work to date. The book offers detailed insight into the artist's ideas and methods and features a catalogue raisonnand#233;. Essays by leading scholars highlight the depth of his practice and further affirm Mueck's importance.
"Though this isn't the first book devoted to Australian artist Ron Mueck's stunning, hyperrealist sculptures, it may be the most comprehensive. Known for their lifelike quality and playful use of scale, Mueck's sculptures of people in everyday situations are truly unique. Here, readers can examine 38 sculptures at their leisure, including the infamous 'Dead Dad' (a sculpture of his dead father) and 2006's 'A girl' (a massive sculpture of a newborn baby from multiple angles). Few of his subjects do anything dramatic 1997's 'Angel' shows a bored angel waiting atop a stool, the man in 2009's 'Drift' lounges in a pool but their subtle expressions speak volumes in this portfolio of stolen moments. Published in conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria's first major exhibition of Mueck's work, Hurlston superbly compiles photos of the sculptures, but fails to offer much in terms of commentary or documenting the artist's process. The essays that accompany the thirteen chapters range wildly, offering thoughtful criticism as well as a fair share of ostentatious bloviating. Luckily, Mueck's art speaks for itself. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The first-ever comprehensive look at internationally known artist Ron Mueck's hyperrealist figurative sculpture
About the Author
David Hurlston is Curator of Australian Art at theand#160;National Gallery of Victoria.