influential works assembled at TarraWarra

Kirsty Grant alongside one of many Robert Klippel sculptures on show at TarraWarra. Picture: JED LANYON

The TarraWarra Museum of Art recently opened its new exhibition ASSEMBLED, which features the life works of renowned Australian sculptor Robert Klippel.

Over 100 works from Klippel’s six decade long career will be on display From 23 November until 16 February.

Exhibition curator Kirsty Grant told the Mail, “He’s really one of the most important 20th century Australian sculptors… What I’ve focused on for this exhibition is, as the name suggests, the assemblages, where an artist finds all kinds of objects and brings them together to make something new.”

Ms Grant said that Klippel was always inspired to create something that he had never seen before.

But it’s not just Klippel’s sculptures on display for TarraWarra visitors as they can also take the opportunity to view the inspiration for Klippel’s work through drawings and sketchbooks.

“The things that he looked at, he often drew in his sketchbooks and we’ve got a number of them in for the show.

“There’s one great sketchbook there that’s really interesting. You can see when he has been to museums and he was looking at paintings or a sculpture by Picasso.

“Rather than drawing the whole object, he breaks it down into its component parts. You can see him thinking about things in three dimensions and the elements that go together to create a bigger form.”

Ms Grant said that Klippel always wanted to create abstract art and often numbered his sculptures as opposed to naming them so as to leave the interpretation up to the viewer.

The ‘assemblage’ works include his so-called ‘junk sculptures’ of the 1960s and 70s and his late timber works that often used brightly coloured machine parts.

Seeking to find what he described as the ‘interrelationship between the cogwheel and the bud’, Klippel drew upon a deep understanding of nature and the man-made world of machines to develop a distinctive three-dimensional language.

Drawing on this personal vocabulary of form and shape, he worked intuitively, combining rhythm, movement, weight, volume, proportion, tension, balance and texture in a dynamic dialogue to create a unique body of abstract sculpture.

TarraWarra Museum of Art director Victoria Lynn said, “TarraWarra Museum of Art holds several key works by Robert Klippel and a key curatorial platform is to provide opportunities to show our collection in a national context.

“With this exhibition, we can appreciate a full survey of the artist’s inventive, imaginative and playful oeuvre that continues to be relevant to sculptural practice today.

“Whilst Robert Klippel’s work is well-known in his home-town of Sydney, this will be the first major exhibition to display this breadth of his work in Melbourne since the late 1980s.”