Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael Hawker, 2009
H 45 W 62.5 D 35cm
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.
[I] EXAMINE STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, IDEOLOGIES AND PLANS TO SEE ‘HOW THEY FIT’ WHEN RE-CONFIGURED.