Willard Boepple

Acquavella Contemporary Art

During the ’70s Willard Boepple made sculptures from welded steel, cutting, bending, tearing, and, finally, arranging shapes in formally complex configurations. The works were based in a structural rhetoric by which spatial frameworks were built from counterpoints of rhyming and discordant parts. Some articulated inner space, stressing the century’s great sculptural discovery, while others were constructions of massed planes that accented solid rather than void. But all were allied by their internal complexity, favoring part-to-part over simple relations in the manner of the Bennington School. Indeed, Boepple and his colleagues were grouped in a kind of academy, billed as the third generation working with welded steel.

The problem with these works lay in their fixation on the formalist program of sculptural autonomy, a course which, once its axioms had been stated by Anthony Caro, offered

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