London, 1999. Making do and getting by.

2000

Wentworth, Richard
Fundamentally changing the way we think about art, sculpture and photography, Richard Wentworth baulks at the monumental, finding his motifs in the everyday world instead. He says, ‘I find cigarette packets folded up under table legs more monumental than a Henry Moore. Five reasons. Firstly the scale. Secondly, the fingertip manipulation. Thirdly, modesty of both gesture and material. Fourth, its absurdity and fifth, the fact that it works.’ Isolating an object that already exists, bringing together and stage-managing found things not usually related to art, Wentworth tantalises us into a new realisation of everyday objects to be read in a brand new, unanticipated, way. Through discovery and intervention, Wentworth’s compositions look like chance, banal, sculptures that mark opportune, yet commonplace, situations. Developing the idea of the fluke, images come to him; he does not search for them. Detecting and shooting little actions of human intrusion in the natural environment, his photographs record things overlapping both one another, and time. When Wentworth sees somebody has stuck a polystyrene cup on top of the spike of a metal street fence, what is key here is the evidence of the deed. The real concept of luck is in Wentworth's eye discovering the significance in the unintentional. For where others may have simply seen a polystyrene cup on a fence - if anything at all - Wentworth noticed the minutiae details, which fit in with his global look at bits and pieces stuffed, lodged and rammed in place. Estelle Lovatt
  • Artwork Details: 74 x 92 x 6.5cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: unique photograph
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Photography
  • Accession number: ACC60/2000

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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