This month Black Dog Publishing releases Thinking is Making. Presence and Absence in Contemporary Sculpture to celebrate ten years of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, which is re-launched as a National Award in May 2013. An exhibition of the ten winners of the award to date will take place at Standpoint Gallery in May-June 2013.
Thinking is Making questions both the presence and absence of the object and its maker within contemporary British sculpture. The sculptural object has spent much of the recent past being made to disappear from view. The word “sculpture” may still carry connotations of weight, scale and material, yet none of these things may necessarily be present in any particular work. Whether lost into a void, left behind in an ‘expanded field’ or exploded to occupy the architectural space that once simply contained it, the sculptural object as the flotsam of an artist’s engagement with process and materials, seems to have been in a continual state of crisis since first becoming detached from its plinth.
This volume explores the nature and function of the sculptural object with essays by critic Martin Herbert and a history of the object as explored through the various discourses developed at St Martins School of Art from the mid-1960s by curator Matilda Strang. The book also includes profiles of past winners of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award by artist and curator Fiona MacDonald.