About the Artwork
In his practice, James Angus questions traditional notions and forms of sculpture by playing with surface, scale and volume. His work ranges from the modest to the gigantic, revealing his ongoing interest in materials and process. Inspired by aspects of design, architecture and nature, he often duplicates existing objects, producing work that he has described as 'blunt and literal’1. Some of his works also manifest distortion, as if subject to physical forces of one kind or another.
Mountains, Valleys, Caves is a work based on a ‘monocoque’, a structural system found in nature which is replicated in built forms to create load-bearing surfaces such as aeroplane parts. The work was inspired by nineteenth century algebraic models the artist saw in London, some of which depicted a monocoque structure, which Angus considered as ‘incredibly beautiful …undulating shapes which describe very simple algorithms’. The smooth painted outer surface of his sculpture contrasts with the raw bronze finish underneath, the artist’s way of foregrounding the casting process.
1. Anna Davis (curator), Introduction, MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context 2010, (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Isabel Finch and Clare Lewis (curators), ‘James Angus’, To Make a Work of Timeless Art: MCA Primavera Acquisitions, (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2008.
Rachel Kent (curator), ‘Shape Shifter: The Art of James Angus’, James Angus, (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2006.
Quotation: James Angus, quoted by Rachel Kent in ‘Shape shifter: the art of James Angus’, James Angus, (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2006, p. 10
[I] EXAMINE STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, IDEOLOGIES AND PLANS TO SEE ‘HOW THEY FIT’ WHEN RE-CONFIGURED.
– About the artist
James Angus completed a Master of Fine Arts (Sculpture) at Yale University in 1998. He lectures in sculpture and design, and his work has been exhibited and collected in both Australia and overseas. In 2006, a solo show of his work, James Angus, was held at the MCA before touring to venues in three other Australian states.