We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


No 796



Robert Klippel

Australia, United States of America

19 Jun 1920 – 19 Jun 2001

Artist profile

Alternate image of No 796 by Robert Klippel
Alternate image of No 796 by Robert Klippel
Alternate image of No 796 by Robert Klippel
Alternate image of No 796 by Robert Klippel
Alternate image of No 796 by Robert Klippel
  • Details

    Media categories
    Sculpture , Assemblage
    Materials used
    wood assemblage
    166.0 x 74.0 x 56.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated verso, red pencil "RK. ... 89".

    Gift of Danny and Lisa Goldberg 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Robert Klippel Estate, courtesy Annette Larkin Fine Art

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    Artist information
    Robert Klippel

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Robert Klippel's singular vision, inspired by the intricacies and profusion of our natural and built environments and by his quest for a spiritually relevant form, stands alone in the history of Australian art. Spanning six decades of practice, his oeuvre forms an extremely diverse yet coherent whole, characterised by the artist's extraordinary inventiveness in the spatial disposition of his forms.

    During the late 1980s, Klippel returned to working in wood - a material he had not used since the 1940s, resulting in another extraordinary output of over 150 assemblages mainly made from geometric wooden pattern-parts for obsolete machinery. These works represent a dramatic shift in Klippel's practice, creating assemblages of a 'monumental' size previously unseen in his work. Klippel retained in these large sculptures the same mastery and inventiveness which he had brought to his junk and bronze works and the same will to articulate sculptural forms through dynamic inter-relationship of mass, weight, volume and space.

    With an emphasis on the rhythmic structure of interlocking volumes, 'No 796' manifests Klippel's commanding system of composing disparate elements into a balanced whole. While created out of the weighted geometry of block pattern forms, Klippel configures these parts to suggest an organic movement, activating a monumental tumbling energy in these mechanised structures.

    The poetic transfiguration of forms enforces Klippel's enduring quest throughout his career to produce statements of machine-organic energies, or in the artist's own words "to seek the inter-relationship between the cogwheel and the bud".

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Robert Klippel

See all 259 works