American Sculpture 1951 was a catalog for an exhibition of the same name at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Held in 1951 it surveyed the state of sculpture at the beginning of that decade. Although it was a time when Abstract Expressionism and abstraction in general, were beginning to overtake the American art scene, it didn't appear so in the catalog. Aside from a handful of purely abstract pieces, figuration dominated the show. The catalog claimed that sculpture seemed less willing to abandon realism than painting, an assertion dimly present in current art history.
Most interesting to me, however, was the way the catalog had physically aged. Images bled from one side of the page to the other, and through this seepage, new works had morphed into being. History was being redone visually. Entropy, the persistence of time and physical deterioration, had reconfigured the images into a slowly morphing Exquisite Corpse. The mutual leeching of images from one side of the page to the other reconfigured artworks; it was a creative act unto itself, an ongoing performance.
I scanned the book, and the scanning produced an additional performative layer. The intensity of the scanner's light read 3 or 4 pages at once, further merging and blurring individual pieces and sometimes revealing latent narratives. Together these new images suggested a new catalog, a new American Sculpture 1951, one that would participate in and further elaborate this ongoing entropic performance.
Peter Dudek, 2018 - 2023
68p 7*10" Self-published Edition size: 200 copies, signed and numbered