I’ve found another wonderful example of clouds in art to add to the previous collection. This time the “clouds” are trapped in a resin cube:
The artist, Peter Alexander, was part of the Light and Space movement in the 60s. During this period artists in Southern California started using new materials like plastic, resin, and industrial coating to create sculptures and installations which blurred the lines between art, industry, and science. In his Cloud Box (1966), Peter Alexander made a cube with polyester resin and introduced some water vapour during the casting process.The result was the formation of white “clouds” inside the resin. A beautiful and poetic object which evokes the light and atmospheric conditions of Southern California.
Eva Hesse (1936-1970) was a German-American sculptor known for working with unconventional materials like wax, cheesecloth, fibreglass, and latex. I saw her work in an exhibition of her Studiowork (test pieces) at the Camden Arts Centre in 2010. I remember her sculptures as very unusual, beautiful, and organic. Forms, textures, and colours which evoke parts of the body. There was a table layed out with little papier mache shapes that seemed to float on the surface, very delicate. I did a quick sketch when I got home.
Her interest in these materials started when she was using a disused factory in Germany as a makeshift studio and she became inspired by the commercial materials she saw lying around, excited by their sculptural possibilities.
She says of her work, “Don’t ask what it means or what it refers to. Don’t ask what the work is. Rather, see what the work does.”
Sadly, she died at just 34 from a brain tumour.
Test piece. Fibreglass, polyester resin, plastic. 1968