Robert Grosvenor

Kunsthalle Bern

The seven sculptures Robert Grosvenor exhibited here, all untitled and created between 1977 and 1991, seem to reflect on the primitive—not in the sense of borrowing elements from different cultures but, rather, in the spirit of what Barnett Newman meant when he said that “the first man was an artist.” It seems possible, in fact, to view Grosvenor’s oeuvre as playing out a kind of fiction, that of the “earliest man of today”—a fiction both productive and improbable, which at its best plays on the tension between contemporary materials (corrugated iron, plastic, fiberglass) and “original” themes, like the fusion—or indistinguishability—of sculpture and architecture. (Grosvenor has said that on a trip to Easter Island he was struck by the way the natives had taken up residence in a shelter built from the tangled fragments of fallen statues.) Even the poster for the exhibition suggested this

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