The installation ‘The trainer’ (1992) was made for the 9th Biennale of Sydney, ‘The boundary rider’, which dealt with themes of the outsider, borders and exile.
‘The trainer’ consists of 37 wooden bookshelves, each filled with books that are turned leaf outwards; three boxing bags suspended between the shelves at equal intervals; and two standing balls. Spanning 3.5 by 10 meters, the large scale of this work lends it a formal association with totalitarian architecture, yet the found elements that it consists of remain immediately recognizable. Coupling gymnastic equipment with books, ‘The trainer’ takes up the tradition of the readymade. Two kinds of objects with disparate functions are combined to form an abstract entity that is not related to either reading or sport. This work has an abstract quality which makes subtle use of colour, tone and texture. ‘The trainer’ has an aesthetic precision that accords with post-minimalist art, and in the artist’s opinion, is “…part of a post-minimalist/post-modern strategy.”1
1. Igor and Svetlana Kopystiansky, correspondence with Anthony Bond, 08/11/2010
wood, books, sport equipment
350.0 x 1000.0 x 100.0 cm installed :
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases; 84 x 114.5 x 16 cm; each, 8 bookcases 4 rows x 4 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases; 84 x 86 x 16 cm; each, 8 bookcases 4 rows x 3 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases; 63 x 57 x 25 cm; each, 3 bookcases 3 rows x 2 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases; 112 x 39 x 25 cm; each, 18 bookcases 4 rows x 1 row
ll-nn - 3 hanging bags; 92 x 35 cm; each, height x diam.
oo-pp - 2 standing bags; 172 x 53 cm; each, height x base diam.
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1993
Not on display
© Svetlana Kopystiansky
Shown in 3 exhibitions
The boundary rider: 9th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Dec 1992–14 Mar 1993
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994
Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Mar 1995–04 Jun 1995
Referenced in 5 publications
Anthony Bond, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Objects and associations', pg.332-381, Sydney, 2006, 348 (colour illus.).
Anthony Bond and Victoria Lynn, AGNSW Collections, 'Contemporary Practice - Here, There, Everywhere ...', pg. 229-285, Sydney, 1994, 240 (colour illus.).
Victoria Lynn, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, "Women Artists in the Contemporary Collection", Victoria Lynn, p13-15, Sydney, 1995, 15, 22, 15 (illus.).
The boundary rider: 9th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, 1992, 138.
Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers