Plainsong

2000
Mild steel
320 x 277 x 120 cm
Edition of 3

In the late 1990s Peter Hide received a commission to make a sculpture to stand in front of the theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. The sculpture reflected the structure of a proscenium arch, and Plainsong is a development from that idea. As pupil of Anthony Caro, Hide has found a sculptural language that acknowledges Caro, but which is entirely his own. This language is exemplified in Plainsong. In this work, he has used steel to re-imagine the form of a proscenium - two upright supporting pieces and a cross-member above. Vertical, horizontal and curved members combine in a sculpture that stands tall and which is unified by the application of a single colour. The tan paint resonates, making an unassuming statement, but one which is strong enough to give the forms utmost clarity. Tonal values are easily discernible through this flat application of colour, and the forms may be read simply through this device. Music is implicit to this piece and the title 'Plainsong', in musical terms, refers to song sung in unison, in a recitative-like manner. It has been performed in the western Christian church from the earliest times, and is a simple air without variations - a plain and unadorned statement. Hide's sculpture share and express this aesthetic philosophy.

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About The Artist

Hide is considered one of the most impressive British practitioners of welded-steel sculpture. Working in the assembled sculptural tradition of Pablo Picasso, David Smith and Anthony Caro, Hide has produced artworks of remarkable individuality and innovation. Adopting the removal of the plinth his forefather Caro pioneered, Hide developed his own individual aesthetic, reclaiming a more monumental style of steel sculpture that reacted against the openness of constructed sculpture in the Sixties. As a student of Caro's his influence is evident, however Hide's sculptures are intentionally dense, monumental and heavy in aesthetic and reality. He has always worked in steel, and his large abstract pieces are confident upright expressions of mass and weight rendered in rusted heavy industrial scrap steel.



Peter Hide

Born: 1944