Wall Sculpture and Installation

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Walls have served as the foundation for paintings, reliefs, and mosaics since the earliest artistic expressions in prehistoric caves. Particularly since the 1960s, artists have made wall sculptures and installations to blur the line between traditional mediums (e.g., painting and sculpture), often incorporating unexpected materials. With its simple metal rod protruding from an empty canvas stretcher, Eva Hesse’s 1966 sculpture Hang Up conspicuously embraces the extension from painting to wall sculpture. Recalling tapestries, Sheila Hicks’s handmade weavings and Robert Morris’s draped felt sculptures rely on the wall for support, challenging standard notions of sculpture’s solidity. Senga Nengudi’s elastic mesh and sand sculptures are activated in performances as they stretch and twist around bodies. Wall sculptures often disorient the viewer, upending a sense of gravity: how would one eat from Daniel Spoerri’s upright dinner tables or sleep in Robert Rauschenberg’s suspended bed?

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