Urs Fischer, Skinny Sunrise, 2000. Polystyrne, wood, dust, spray adhesive, flour, acrylic paint, silicone, screws, and fabric, 97 x 197 x 46 cm. From “The Human Factor”

“The Human Factor”


The Hayward Gallery

The problem with group shows is that the curator is powerfully present, and when a show attempts a survey or argument, it is hard not to be distracted by potential omissions or possible flaws. “The Human Factor” fell foul on both counts: there were omissions in the selection and holes in curator Ralph Rugoff’s premise—that there is a “ubiquity of the figure in sculpture today.” It seemed arbitrary for the show to include 25 artists and survey the last 25 years of artistic production. And why represent some artists with just one work, but include three by others? The featured artists were not “of” the past 25 years in the sense that they belong to the same generation (Paul McCarthy was born in 1954, while Andro Wekua was born in 1977). Finally, the show’s premise that the last quarter century represents a return to the human figure seemed in itself to be questionable. Given the argument underpinning “The Human Factor,” it is surprising that British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, Antony Gormley, and Marc Quinn were not included..…see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.