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An image of Untitled by Ken Unsworth
Alternate image of Untitled by Ken Unsworth Alternate image of Untitled by Ken Unsworth Alternate image of Untitled by Ken Unsworth

Ken Unsworth

(Australia 1931 – )

Place of origin
SydneyNew South WalesAustralia
Media category
Materials used
timber, steel

13.0 x 42.0 x 11.0 cm:

a - horizontal part; 41.4 x 4.2 x 4.2 cm

b - diagonal part; 14.9 x 10.9 x 0.3 cm

c - diagonal part; 14.9 x 10.9 x 0.3 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the artist 2012. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Ken Unsworth
Not on display
Further information

Ken Unsworth came to prominence as a sculptor in the 1970s, when he combined performance or body art with highly conceptual sculptural forms. Some of these performances, in particular 'Five secular settings for sculpture as ritual', involved using his own body as a kind of minimalist sculpture. In one, he posed spread-eagle on the wall, held aloft by a pole between his shoulder blades in a visual recreation of Richard Serra's prop sculptures.

Unsworth was one of our most richly inventive sculptors during this period, combining the language of minimalism with a sensitivity towards often natural materials. 'Suspended Stone Circle II' in the Gallery's collection is one of our most popular works and deservedly so as it combines the serial repetition of minimalism with the natural materials of land art and the sheer wonder of seeing stones so marvellously ordered and suspended in the exhibition space. As in all of Unsworth's work, even his most reduced forms suggest an engagement with metaphysics and the human condition.

'Untitled' 1969 embodies many of the key themes in his practice during this time: particularly balance, weightlessness and gravity, minimal forms and natural or traditional sculptural materials adapted to his vision. Its inventive exploration of form and materials creates a highly accomplished and satisfying sculpture. While small in scale, Unsworth's vision during this time is immense.

Bibliography (1)

Kate van den Boogert (Editor), Ken Unsworth, Melbourne, 1998, 31 (illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Ken Unsworth, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Oct 1998–15 Nov 1998

Ken Unsworth: Lazy days. Early ways, William Wright/ Artists, Sydney, 23 Jun 2012–14 Jul 2012