Slumped/Draped

About

Artworks that are slumped or draped in form. In sculpture from ancient Greece and Rome through the Renaissance, the ability to mimic folded or draped cloth attested to one’s artistic skill, as it required artists to suggest a convincing dynamism or to echo the curvature of the body in static materials like stone. In the mid-20th century, many abstract artists challenged the assumption that a painting’s surface had to be stretched taut and hung flat against the wall and that sculpture needed to be a standalone object with stable material properties. Robert Morris created felt sculptures that, when fixed to the wall, sagged under their own weight over time, while Sam Gilliam created stained paintings that he then twisted and folded to mirror the dynamism of their colors. Slumped or draped forms may evoke a mood of heaviness or fatigue or may be employed to emphasize the volumetric effects of material under the force of gravity.

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