PRINT November 1967

Sculpture’s Vanishing Base

FUNCTIONS OF THE SCULPTURE BASE: The base is the sculptor’s convention for rooting his art to surrounding reality while permitting it to stand apart. As such, the base creates a twilight zone both physically and psychically. It says, in effect, that this sculpted object has a life, a “presence” of its own. Its use to support various top-heavy standing figures, and to provide a perch to minimize damage, are the obvious physical reasons for its existence; beyond that, the base helps to create an aura of distance and dignity around the favored object. Moreover, the Western tradition has been consistent in the use of the base as an appendage to sculpture. Within the representational idiom in general, the base has served to isolate and emphasize the particular psychology and anecdotal content of the activity it supports.

Modern abstract and non-objective art has produced a considerable shift

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