Lot 17
  • 17

Richard Hudson

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  • Richard Hudson
  • Tear
  • polished mirrored steel
  • 300 by 209 by 209cm.
  • 118 by 82 by 82in.

Catalogue Note

Born in Yorkshire in 1954, Richard Hudson came to sculpture relatively late in life, but has since built up a body of work that combines an emphasis on craftsmanship with a playful consideration of the relationship between figuration and abstraction. His work bears traces of the surreal sculptures of Jean Arp and the semi-abstracted and organic forms of sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore. As Lynne Green writes: ‘He is not interested in capturing the detail of verisimilitude; rather he is concerned with the essential, and therefore with the universal. Hudson pares and polishes the human figure almost to the point of abstraction – but he holds back this process of simplification, never allowing the figurative reference to slip away. In the process, individuality is relinquished in favour of iconic symbols of the collective’ (L. Green, Richard Hudson: The Likeness of Being, Fabien Fryns Fine Art, Beijing, 2011, p. 1).

In Tear, Hudson explores his interest in symbols such as the heart or the teardrop and the significance that lies behind their simplified forms. Drawing on art historical precedents including Man Ray’s Larmes (Tears) and Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic works, Hudson creates his own striking interpretation of the subject. The work exemplifies Hudson’s perceptive and innovative use of materials. He initially hand models the shapes in clay or plasterline in an attempt to create a perfect form through an imperfect technique; in this way the work becomes a celebration of both the curves and lines that form the teardrop and  its historical meaning. Hudson’s use of highly polished stainless steel also imbues it with a certain intangibility. In a playful exploration of the protean properties of a tear, the reflective surface means that the work is subject to the changing moods of the environment that surrounds it. As Hudson explains: ‘In my outdoor monumental work I am drawn to the multiple reflections of the landscape that the surface creates. For me this acts as an extension of the curves and lines of the teardrop itself’.