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Rarely seen Ron Mueck sculptures go on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Ron Mueck, Youth, 2009. Ron Mueck.

WOLVERHAMPTON.- The work of internationally renowned sculptor Ron Mueck went on show at Wolverhampton Art Gallery this summer (20 July – 2 November) as part of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour. The exhibition features a number of works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, alongside pieces from private collections which are rarely seen in the UK.

Ron Mueck’s work has received critical acclaim across the world. His sculptures capture the human form, not only through his ability to produce physical features in ‘hyper-real’ detail but by giving them presence and instilling them with life. Mueck’s work plays with scale on a great level, and the works chosen for this exhibition demonstrate the artist’s skill for creating this sense of realism even when producing the colossal and miniature pieces for which he has become known.

Ron Mueck: ARTIST ROOMS explores how his work creates dramatic narratives which link the real world with myth and folklore. A key example of this is Wild Man (2005), a giant sculpture of an unkempt and naked ‘wild man of the woods’. At 285cm tall, the immense Wild Man looks afraid and exposed, inviting viewers to reflect and conjure up their own stories about him.

This exhibition also examines how Mueck’s works focus on the life cycle – from birth to death, via childhood, adolescence and relationships. Mother and Child (2001), Youth (2009), Ghost (1998) and Spooning Couple (2005) all provide poignant observations of these different stages in life.

Several of the works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and The National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d’Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its fifth year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2013. The tour is made possible thanks to the new support of Arts Council England and the continued support of the Art Fund.

As part of Ron Mueck: ARTIST ROOMS, a separate display provides interpretation of his works and offers insight into Ron Mueck’s artistic practice. Mueck uses modern materials but combines them with traditional techniques; initial sketches and maquettes will be on show, along with some of the tools he uses to produce his figurative sculptures.

Curator Marguerite Nugent comments: “Ron Mueck’s distinctive work, with its mesmerising detail and exploration of timeless themes, provokes reflection and discussion and we are really looking forward to seeing how people respond to it. His current exhibition at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris has proven hugely successful, so it’s fantastic that we are able to give visitors to Wolverhampton Art Gallery the opportunity to view his work here at the same time through ARTIST ROOMS On Tour.”

Ron Mueck: ARTIST ROOMS is the third ARTIST ROOMS presentation at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, following previous exhibitions of works by Ed Ruscha (2011) and Andy Warhol (2009).

Australian-born, London-based artist Ron Mueck began his career as a model maker and puppeteer. He worked with the creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson, on shows such as Sesame Street and films including Labyrinth. Mueck first came to critical attention when his work was included in the Royal Academy’s 1997 Sensation exhibition, alongside works by Young British Artists including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. He was appointed Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London in 1999 and had work commissioned for the Millennium Dome in 2000. Since then his works have been exhibited across the world. Mueck is currently exhibiting new work at Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris.

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