Sculpture isn't easy. As that hoary artists' joke goes, it's what you bump into when you back up to look at a painting. Unlike paintings, which (for the most part) stay decorously on the wall and can even escape scrutiny, sculpture is unequivocally there, physically present and unignorable. Sculpture of the last half century is even more insistent, refusing to remain isolated on a pedestal, but instead competing for the very space we occupy. Sculpture can make rude demands on our sense of ourselves. Even the most stripped-down, minimal works ask to be perceived through our awareness of our own bodies, forcing us to draw upon our accumulated experience of how it feels to occupy space, to move, to resist gravity, to touch. And there are practical considerations, as well. Despite their considerable heft, sculptures can often be fragile or, if they are big enough and unwieldy enough, they can even pose life-threatening risks. The expense and...


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