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PRINT May 1978

Alain Kirili’s Form and Craft

IN A SHOW OF HIS new work at Dartmouth, Alain Kirili recently exhibited four 8- to 12-foot sculptures consisting of two to three loosely fitted iron, forged iron and terra-cotta elements, as well as two two-part terra-cotta reliefs. Five of these works were made on location, while the other required more elaborate forging and was brought over from Europe. All the iron components were lightly forged, while the terra-cotta was molded by hand in a manner more indicative of the artist’s assertive grip than of his skill as a ceramist. The terra-cotta reliefs compare to the terra-cotta cum-iron and the all-iron sculptures as drawings compare to finished paintings.

One saw the artist’s dialectic mode of working, whereby one element of a sculpture is pitted against another element or in which one sculpture challenges another presented in the same space. Within one and the same work, iron, with its

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