Herbert George


I began by questioning many of the basic assumptions made in the canvas and wood works, in one case using an open spatial form in contrast to the apparent solidity of the previous pieces. I thought of these sculptures initially as a literal opening-out or uncoiling of the canvas membrane works. These are a linear, sequential, sometimes mathematical progression, while the canvas and wood works were more capricious, and circular in their basic segmented forms. The exoskeleton supporting structure allowed me to focus attention on the passive enclosed spatial volume within. They resemble in their basic conception the interiors of Romanesque cathedrals, with an important exception.

I changed their orientation to open the sculptures to the natural light and sky above. These were the first purely formalist, non-figurative large-scale works that I had made, and my first experiments with and explorations of the use of space, volume and two-dimensional perspective to an expressive, aesthetic end. This series culminates with Clearing-Spacehold-Forest, a sculpture scaled to permit the viewer to walk through, around and into its volumes. It is also site-specific in that the basic aspects of the site—a clearing, a forest and the natural slope of the land—determined many of the major aspects, dimensions and configuration of the work.