Richard Deacon

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

Richard Deacon’s Eight and Nine, both 1997, represent nothing less than the reconstruction of the organic by mechanical means. The result might be called a kind of “biotechnology,” as though the sculptor, like Dr. Frankenstein, had engineered something natural. Deacon’s work shows us that the Modernist separation of the organically created and the artificially constructed—early Constructivism in particular elevated the latter as both emblem of and working method in the brave new world—is false.

The system determining the ratios among the various sections of Eight and Nine is one of natural progression, like that of growth rings in trees. The internal radius of the tightest band is the same as the diameter of the tube, while the next internal radius is the same as the outer radius of the first. The largest is two steps up from the smallest, and the next band would have been another three

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