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Richard Deacon

Richard Deacon
Benchmarks nos. 1-5

Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021

Benchmark nos 1-5 is a series of five related sculptures cut from three granite boulders and assembled making use of the three different stones in each of the sculptures. As the leading British sculptor of his generation, Richard Deacon has had a preoccupation with plinths and the crucial role they have played in the development of sculpture. In Kingsnorth Gardens, while researching his contribution to The Plot, he came across some empty platforms that had ‘lost’ their benches. The welcome of these bare platforms inspired him to create five new sculptures.

Deacon describes himself as a ‘fabricator’, emphasising the construction behind the finished object and accordingly the logic of the fabrication is often exposed. Such transparency highlights the reactive nature of the process: it is part of a two-way conversation between artist and material that transforms the workaday into something metaphorical.

The idea of ‘fabrication’ also denotes making something up, of fiction rather than truth, and this knack for wordplay surfaces in Deacon’s titles, which might establish juxtapositions or wreak new meaning from familiar sayings or clichés – see Let’s not be Stupid (1991), No Stone Unturned (1999), Water Under the Bridge (2008) or Shiver My Timbers (2016).” (Edited extract from the Lisson Gallery website www.lissongallery.com )

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Richard Deacon has written extensively on his own practice and in relation to contemporary art in general. So, And, If, But – Selected Writing 1970 – 2012 was published (in English and German editions) by the Richter Verlag in 2013. I Wanted To Talk About The Future But I Ended Up Thinking About The Past, an illustrated lecture, was published by Lisson Gallery in 2019. He continues to write about other artists and has recently published an essay on the Portugese sculptor Rui Sanches.

Richard Deacon lives and works in London and won the Turner Prize in 1987. He has made works for public places across the world and has recently installed commissions in Beijing and Tokyo and, in partnership with Mrdjan Bajić, completed a pedestrian bridge in Belgrade.

Find more of Richard Deacon's work.

Richard Deacon, Benchmark 1-5, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2017. Photo by Thierry Bal

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