Fibreglass reinforced polyester, nitro cellulose paint, 168 x 104 x 244 cm. Photo: Tony Allen.
Inclines was the first of a group of sculptures in which solids signalled not only larger forms made up of their groups but their extension through a floor or wall plane. Constructed in polyester resin reinforced with glass fibre the forms were spray painted in nitro cellulose in a studio under a railway arch in Camberwell, south London. There was a constant and vivid contrast between the bright, clean, modern lines of the sculptures and the clattering, rat-infested filth of the railway arches. A sculptor who joined me to share the rental, Derrick Woodham, using the polytester medium for very different ends and I was aware of (but not interested by) the 'Minimal' forms of sculptors such as Ronald Bladen, Donald Judd and Tony Smith - which implied (I felt) nothing beyond the fact of their own geometry. To put it another way, they planted themselved before the viewer, and did not invite that viewer into playing with their conceptual implications.
Fibreglass reinforced polyester, nitro cellulose paint, 56 x 109 x 180 cm. Photo: Tony Allen.
I found it fiendishly difficult to work out some of the angles required in building these works and, in thecase of Chevrons, there was the added challenge of establishing the arcs around one face of the piece(s). Subjectively, though still concerned with the conceptual play implied by these objects, I was then seduced by (what I took to be) the seductive visual appearance of the result.
Three Piece, 1967
Fibreglass reinforced polyester, nitro cellulose paint, 122 x 122 x 122. Photo: Tony Allen.
One Across, 1967
Fibreglass reinforced polyester, nitro cellulose paint, 185 x 264 x ~120 cm. Photo: Tony Allen.
One Across was painted matt black and photographed on a 2.5 M wide area of white Colourama paper, using black-and-white negative. Surviving prints are extremely difficult to reproduce.
Inclining Cross, 1967
Fibreglass reinforced polyester, nitro cellulose paint, 86 x 264 x 175 cm. Photo: Tony Allen.
The diagram below indicates the way in which Inclining Cross was conceived and constructed. It does not, of course dictate the way in which the sculpture was 'read' when it was exhibited, and is not any kind of explanation of the work. A cube ('A') was (mentally) rotated by different amounts on each of two axes and then then sunk through a floor plane ('B'). Through the resulting pyramidic form a cruciform ('C) was passed down (think of it as a pastry cutter), leaving three irrecular pyramidic forms ('D).