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Work of the Week | 04 August 2020

CAG.2827 Michael Warren, Obelisk of Bronze, 1987-88, bronze, H 5 m. Presented to the State, 2012 (AIB Art Collection). © the artist.

We’re going vertical with this WORK OF THE WEEK!

‘Almost all my sculpture, large or small, appears to have a distinctive down-to-earthness, a particular grounding…’ -- Michael Warren

Measuring five metres in height, Obelisk of Bronze (1987-88) by Michael Warren is easily the tallest work in the collection. In its characteristic dignity and balance, the sculpture embodies key ideas in the artist’s practice and suggests the influence of French philosopher Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace.

Although cast in bronze, the sculpture’s surface preserves a memory of its wooden predecessor which was carved by Warren in 1987. The materiality of wood and marks of a chainsaw can be read in the work, while its strong verticality is only interrupted at its base by a slanting cut that serves to ground it. Almost defying gravity, it at once appears to hover yet simultaneously be weighty.

Michael Warren (b.1950) lives and works in Gorey, County Wexford. Having been taught by sculptor Frank Morris at St Columba’s College, Dublin he furthered his studies at the Bath Academy of Art and Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. Among his most noted public sculptures in Ireland are Wood Quay (1994), Dublin and Tulach a’ tSolais (1999) at Oulart Hill.

Obelisk of Bronze (1987-88) by Michael Warren is displayed in our sculpture garden. See it from Emmet Place or over a tasty treat at Crawford Garden Café!

Tune in to The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:


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