“Sculpture ’83”

Rotterdam Art Foundation

Anyone proposing an exhibition of contemporary sculpture aiming for the clearest possible statement of what inspires sculptors today should consider Luciano Fabro’s Lo Spirito (The deceased). In this baroque vision a figure lies under the graceful folds of a sheet; one can distinguish feet, legs, torso—but at the neck, the folds of the sheet fall to a pillow on which a head has rested but no longer does so. This sculpture—a figurative work in which the figure doesn’t exist—encapsulates the present artistic situation, and could have provided a focus to “Sculpture ’83.” Instead, one saw artist after artist falling into the traps set by the commercial market and the zeitgeist; the works ranged from cheerful, straightforward, beautiful things to strongly socially engaged forms, but deeper thoughts on what Fabro has called “the physics of the imagination, the discipline of experience, and the

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