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Robert Klippel

Australia 1920-2001
Klippel took a sculpture course in Sydney in the mid 1940s, and later lived and worked in Europe and the US for periods. Although his earliest works were figurative, he wanted to create a new ‘language of connection’ for sculpture that suited the ‘rhythm of the times’. To build his vocabulary of forms, he looked to botany, physics, mechanics and the work of other artists and cultures. He did not believe that mass production techniques should be used for art, preferring a ‘humanised’ concept of sculpture in which there was a trace of the artist’s hand and labour. As well as sculptures, he produced a remarkable body of drawings, watercolours and collages.

No 329 1977

Klippel was one of Australia’s leading sculptors, with a career that spanned six decades. This is his masterwork from the 1970s. It stems from a concept that underpinned all his art and that he saw as central to life and culture in the 20th century: the relationship between the organic and the mechanical.

Klippel aimed to bring nature and technology together. No 329 presents a hybrid landscape-city, reminding viewers of man-made structures in urban, industrial environments as well as plant forms. It includes found objects – the chance fragments of modern disposable society – as well as extruded steel sections.

  • View No 329 in the collection

Robert Klippel No 329 1977