Untitled (Radically Non-Representational), copper leaf on MDF with laser rastor engraving

Hovering resplendent above linoleum tiles, a shining podium bears nothing but its copper coating: a ‘monument to all that’s fleeting and inconsequential.’[1] Defined by a shadow line, its base echoes the crisp corners and clean rectangular faces of its form. The iridescent copper membrane reflects the fluorescent strip lighting, the trickery of its opulence blinding onlookers to the MDF skeleton beneath. With size, brush and polished opal burnisher, seventy-nine quivering swatches of copper leaf were smoothed onto its surface. 

I hope this reminds you of the sculptor’s plinth, perhaps the etcher’s plate, or a sacred shrine, or plumber’s piping, maybe the coins in a glass dish on aside table somewhere. Yet, this work is stubbornly independent, merely referencing and being nothing; its location drifts between ‘being’ and ‘not being’. It is ironically involved with both the tradition evoked by the sculptor’s plinth and the printmaker’s copperplate: that is, of supporting an object or supporting an image. Yet its precious surface is too expensive to be merely supportive,and its shape renders it unprintable.

Made within the ‘inevitable condition of belatedness’, it revels in its ‘Afterness’ unstruck by Bloom’s so-called ‘anxiety of influence’.[2]  It obliquely references Judd’s bronze cubes, Brancusi’s hand crafted podiums and Eva Hesse’s untitled titles. The engraved text ‘El. McCullough Sculpsit’ taps into the art historical tradition of copper engravings. 

[1] Alex Dordoy (2012)

[2] Sherrie Levine, Newborn (1942) and Harold Bloom, Anxiety of Influence (1972)

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