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James Angus

Dom-Ino Colour Separation  2002

acrylic, laminated ply

15.8 × 28.2 × 20.4cm

Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of Greg Woolley, 2008

2008.40

About the Artwork

Dom-Ino Colour Separation is one of a series of sculptures by James Angus taking the form of an architectural model. It plays with the modernist architect Le Corbusier’s Maison Dom-Ino, a 1915 prototype for cheap, modular housing that could be constructed in a row, like dominoes. Angus has re-modelled this utopian vision of housing in planes of coloured Plexiglass that overhang each other, unlike the aligned edges of the house’s original design. Angus also introduces a colour separation between the misaligned levels, creating an effect akin to a newsprint error when the three colours separate and the image slips out of register. Through such spatial and chromatic disruptions, Angus invites viewers to see the world about them in new and imaginative ways.

Angus explores the tensions between the modelled idea and the built form and between the ‘colour-separated’ image and the object in this sculpture. His practice is one that 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 processes. Inspired by aspects of design, architecture and nature, Angus often duplicates existing objects and then distorts them in some way: by exposing them to physical forces such as extreme speed, by turning them inside out, or, as we see in Dom-Ino Colour Separation, by a slight slippage which may be commonplace in a newspaper, but which deranges the clean lines and precision of modernist architecture.

James Angus

– About the artist

Born 1970, Perth. Lives and works New York, United States.


James Angus’ practice draws on natural and built forms to investigate how sculpture can mediate our perception and experience of the physical world. He collaborates with industrial designers and 3D computer engineers in the construction of his sculptures, which are made from materials ranging from fibreglass to steel. His recent work pursues his interest in formal engineering structures and materials like steel beams and piping. Distorted and warped to belie their structural integrity and purpose, his twisted girders and bloated pipes make us consider not only the history and aesthetics of sculpture but also of our built environment and urban fabric.

 Angus’ selected solo exhibitions include John Deere Model D, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2013); James Angus, Triple V, Paris (2012); James Angus, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2010); and James Angus, MCA, Sydney, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2006–07). Selected group exhibitions include Re-Corbusier, Maison La Roche, Villa Jeanneret, Paris (2015); You Imagine What You Desire, 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Lightness of Being, City Hall Park, New York (2013); Your Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2012); Out of the West: Art of Western Australia from the National Collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2011); Cubism, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2009); and To Make a Work of Timeless Art: MCA Primavera Acquisitions, MCA, Sydney (2008). Angus’ work was selected for the Biennale of Sydney in 2002, 2008 and 2014 and has been shown in galleries and biennales in New York, Paris, South Korea and Sydney.

 Angus has completed a number of public sculpture commissions, including Day in Day Out, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (2011) and Grow Your Own, Forrest Place, Perth (2011). His work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

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