The form of the sculpture is meant to reference a maquette made by
American Modernist sculptor Alexander Calder. This is an ongoing
conversation in my practice as I have made several works in the past that
have referenced the work of Calder. The mobile I made for my solo exhibition
at the Rennie Collections’ Wing Sang Gallery in 2011, Broken Fall, is the largest
thus far and plays on notions of appropriation, art history and destruction. The
Calder work that is referenced for this sculpture is a maquette for a sculpture
that he never realized. My proposed sculpture will look as though a vaguely
‘Calder-esque’ artwork has been animated or made to look as though it’s
fluttering in the wind and made of elastic materials
Damian Moppett (b. 1969, Calgary, Alberta; lives/works: Vancouver) has long been engaged with the processes and materials of painting and sculpture, and their histories, which he uses for the construction of his own vernacular. In his work, Auguste Rodin and Mike Kelley hold court alongside amateur ceramics and humourous interpretations of classical modernist sculpture. In recent years, the eccentric personal and art historical references found in his earlier works remain significant, but much less overt.
Newer sculptures, paintings, and installations take on more abstracted forms that are more difficult to pin to their referents, as they sit just beyond the limits of figuration. For example, in Moppett's recent work, as in his painting Alan Jarvis Burning Milne Paintings at Six Mile Lake, 1939 (2016), a large work on canvas which appears to be created in an abstract-expressionist style, the artist in fact creates new compositions by citing brushstrokes or marks appearing elsewhere, but made unidentifiable through a painstaking and labourious process of translation: tracing free expressionistic gestures on paper, and placing and transferring these using unconventional tools that may not be apparent in the finished work. The process is akin to a sort of record-making, closer to printmaking than painting, and what appears to be immediate in the works is predetermined like a purposeful accident aimed at playing with and commenting on the idea of artistic mastery.