The first monograph on a pivotal figure of postwar American art
Best known for his monumental sculptures, Ronald Bladen (1918–1988) was regarded as an artistic forerunner by such minimalist artists as Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, and Carl Andre. But in contrast to the matter-of-fact work of these artists, Bladen’s pieces evoke the emotional power of sculpture, what the artist called “presence.” His objects fill entire rooms, pressing outward against the walls and ceiling; his themes include the force of gravity, the dynamism of planar surfaces, the impact of scale, and confrontation with the viewer.
This splendidly illustrated volume presents a comprehensive overview of Bladen’s career: his breakthrough sculptures such as Three Elements (1965), a standout at the Jewish Museum’s legendary Primary Structures exhibition, later acquired by the Museum of Modern Art; his monumental outdoor commissions of the late 1960s through the 1980s; and his intricate reflective wall reliefs of the 1980s. Bladen’s working models and drawings are examined in detail, and his early career as a painter is considered in the light of his later work. Also included are selections from the critical literature on Bladen, and an illustrated chronology of his life and work.
Robert Bladen: Sculpture is an essential volume on an artist who continues to influence a wide range of sculptors, from Richard Serra to Ursula von Rydingsvard.