- Other Title
- Opus 300
- Media categories
- Sculpture , Mixed media
- Materials used
- brazed and welded steel, found objects
113.3 x 34.5 x 30.5 cm irreg; 15.0 cm base diam.
0 - Whole, 113.3 cm (44 5/8")
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Purchased with funds provided by the Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation 2006
- 20th-century galleries (ground floor)
- Accession number
- © Robert Klippel Estate
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Regarded as Australia’s leading modernist sculptor, Robert Klippel consistently developed a distinct personal language of sculptural forms over his long career. Approaching the surface of each work as a logical expression of its interior structure and processes, his ambition was to make sculpture inspired by a poetic synthesis between the twin energies – organic and mechanical – that he saw as defining life and culture in the 20th century.
The idea of ‘machine-organic’ energies served as a philosophy for some of the great experiments of 20th-century sculpture. It was a concept that also propelled Klippel’s artistic vision: ‘I seek the interrelationship between the cogwheel and the bud,’ he once claimed.
Klippel created to the utopian vision that human-made technologies and the forces of nature might co-exist symbiotically. By the late 1950s he was working in welded constructions and junk assemblages, exploring the metaphysics of the modern age through the debris of its industrial technologies. Majestic and totemic, 'No 300' is a magnificently complex sculpture of these twin energies. Carrying the ceaseless charge of its interlocking parts, it is a statement of the vital interconnections propelling the world.
Elegant and complex, 'No. 300' was described by fellow artist and one-time collaborator James Gleeson thus: 'In Klippel's sequence of grand complexities it must be given a place among the foremost. Even the sloping towers of the mighty 'Opus 247' hold no concentrations of greater density or complexity, though here the solitary tower rises in persistent verticality, opening and spreading slightly at the top as though preparing to embrace space after its assertive rise through it.'
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Robert Klippel: sculpture since 1970 (1979), Watters Gallery, East Sydney, 21 Nov 1979–08 Dec 1979
Robert Klippel: a retrospective exhibition of sculpture and works on paper, Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne, 15 Sep 1987–25 Oct 1987
Robert Klippel: a tribute exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Aug 2002–13 Oct 2002
Robert Klippel, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, 23 Nov 2019–16 Feb 2020
20th-Century galleries Rehang (Ground Level), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 20 Aug 2022–2023
Referenced in 17 publications
Claire Armstrong (Editor), Art and Australia (Vol. 44, No. 2), 'Artnews 2006: Major acquisitions', pg. 213, Sydney, Dec 2006-Feb 2007, 213 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2006, 'Year in review: Australian art', pg. 20-22, Sydney, 2006, 20, 21 (colour illus.).
Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd., The W.R. Burge Collection of Australian and International pictures and sculpture, Monday 6 March 2006, Melbourne, 2006, 10, 11 (colour illus.). lot no. 4; titled 'Opus 300'; Estimate: $70,000-90,000
Peter Coster, Herald Sun, 'Winning bid', pg. 50, Port Melbourne, 09 Mar 2006, 50.
Sarah Couper, Look, 'Backstage: Deborah Edwards, Senior curator Australian art', pg. 11, Sydney, Nov 2015, 11 (colour illus.). Deborah Edwards photographed standing behind Klippel's 'No. 300'
Deborah Edwards, Look, 'A Klippel masterpiece: inaugural Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation purchase', pg. 13, Sydney, Jun 2006, 13 (colour illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Robert Klippel, Sydney, 2002, 140, 155 (colour illus.), 249.
Deborah Edwards (Curator), Natalie Wilson (Assistant Curator) and Eric Riddler (Compilator), Robert Klippel: Catalogue raisonné of sculpture, Sydney, 2002, (illus.). catalogue entry: No. 300
Peter Fish, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'A Klippel in every corner', pg. 46, Sydney, 11 Mar 2006-12 Mar 2006, 46.
James Gleeson, Robert Klippel, Kensington, 1983, 344-45, 475. plate no. 267
Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'The postmodern condition and the changing nature of Australian art', pg. 468-477, Carlton, 2013, 472 (colour illus.), 473, 553, 563. plate no. 43.3
Terry Ingram, The Australian financial review, 'From junkyard to poolside: Sydney splashes out on parterre sculpture', pg. 64, Sydney, 09 Mar 2006, 64.
Maudie Palmer, Robert Klippel: a retrospective exhibition of sculpture and works on paper, Bulleen, 1987. cat.no. 79
Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'James Gleeson', pg. 11, Sydney, Feb 2007, 11 (colour illus.).
Jill Sykes, Look, 'Small and temporary: but it's a big pointer to the future', pg. 28-29, Sydney, Sep 2011, 29 (colour illus.).
Matthew Westwood, The Australian, 'Miniatures fetch large price', pg. 5, Sydney, 08 Mar 2006, 5.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Robert Klippel, Sculpture since 1970, Unknown, 1979. cat.no. 8
Other works by Robert Klippel
See all 259 works