Ron Mueck - Woman with sticks

Ron Mueck
Woman with sticks, 2008
Mixed media, 187 x 230 x 86 cm / 73 5/8 x 90 1/2 x 33 7/8 in
© Ron Mueck - Courtesy Anthony d'Offay / Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Mike Bruce

Ron Mueck - Still Life

Ron Mueck
Still Life, 2009
Mixed media, 215 x 89 x 50 cm / 84 5/8 x 35 x 19 5/8 in
© Ron Mueck - Courtesy Anthony d'Offay / Hauser & Wirth
Photo: John Spiller

Ron Mueck at Hauser & Wirth London

Hauser & Wirth Gallery in London presents Ron Mueck's debut exhibition with the gallery and his first major solo presentation in London for over a decade. 19 April – 26 May 2012.

Source: Hauser & Wirth, London

Ron Mueck's sculptures link reality to the world of folklore, myth and magic. 'Woman with Sticks' (shown left), a sturdy, middle-aged woman struggling to contain an unwieldy bundle of sticks nearly twice her size, suggests a woman tackling the near-impossible tasks set in fairytales and legends. Completely naked, this woman represents the 'eternal feminine', a topic that fascinated artists such as Cezanne and Gauguin.

The recent work 'Youth' is a boy wearing low-slung jeans and a blood-stained white T-shirt. With a look of incredulity reminiscent of Saint Thomas demanding to inspect the wounds of Christ, he pulls up his shirt to reveal an open stab wound in his side. 'Youth' is a portrait of the thoughtlessness of childhood; of a person not yet grown up who comes face to face with the incomprehensibility of mortality. Mueck's 'Drift' is a small-scale sculpture of a lightly tanned man sporting tropical swim shorts and dark sunglasses, lying on a lilo with his arms outstretched. Instead of floating in a swimming pool, 'Drift' is installed high on the gallery wall, seeming to disappear off into the distance.

Suspended in the centre of the gallery is 'Still Life' (left), a dead chicken, stripped of its feathers, hung by its bound feet and enlarged to human size. Mueck's title directly references the genre of still life, a subject that has given rise to a variety of artistic explorations of the bounty of nature and its consumption. But always in these works, and in Mueck's 'Still Life', the fear of death acts as a balance to the fecundity of life.

About the artist
Ron Mueck was born in 1958 in Melbourne, Australia. He lives and works in London. Mueck's recent solo shows include the travelling exhibition 'Ron Mueck', which received over 400,000 visitors at its most recent venue in Mexico City (2011); and travelled to Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico (2011); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2010); Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2010); Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand (2010). His work is held in several major international collections, including the Tate Collection, London, England; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Forth Worth TX; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC.

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