Arm by Brian Catling

Brian Catling RA

U.K. | b. 1948

Brian Catling is a novelist, poet and artist whose practice reaches across painting, sculpture, installation and performance. His surreal narratives, performances and sculptures evoke a sophisticated awareness of disability, exploring the vulnerability, grace and toughness of brokenness, alienation, healing and heroics throughout his rich and detailed multi-disciplinary practice.

Catling is Professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University, a Fellow at Linacre College in Oxford and a member of the British Royal Academy. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally since 1975.

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Year: 2017

Medium: Mixed media

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

ArtPrize Vote Code: 68563

Arm, by Brian Catling; 2017. Wood, steel, brass, rubber, and ivory

Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, depth: 25.6×90.6×51.2

The work is comprised of multiple lengths of wood intertwined with one another and attached with a variety of metal fixtures. These individual lengths are of various origin, but they’re made uniform in their having all been sanded smooth. Several of these sticks include embedded pieces of ivory. Looking across the work, the sticks seem to weave in and out of each other, uniting and separating from a central straight metal rod. The wooden lengths are attached to this metal understructure with brackets and screws and twisted wire, all of which are visible. Contributing finally to the complexity of the work are several metal offshoots from the metal rod. Most apparent among them, a warped balloon-shape flattened and covered in dents, and a bent pointed rod which has been twisted through a hole in one of the wooden lengths.

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Blind Crook

Year: 2017

Medium: Mixed media

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Blind Crook, by Brian Catling; 2017. Mixed media.

Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, and depth: 82.7×1.6×11.8

The work is wooden and has a simple shape—that of a shepherd’s crook. It’s long and slender with a hook at one end. Both ends reduce to individual points perhaps a third of an inch, or a centimeter, wide. The work seems apparently unadorned at its hook-end, with its main length having a rough transition into a plain coating of white paint. This coating covers just over two-thirds of the work’s total length. The paint is uneven and would seem to emerge from within the crook itself.

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Year: 2018

Medium: Performance

Video Link

Photo by Kendra Larsen

Brian Catling performed “Crutch” on September 12, 2018 during an opening event for the Process and Presence: Contemporary Sculpture exhibition at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

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