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Peter Hide

Post #1231 • September 17, 2008, 11:48 AM • 14 Comments

Edmonton, AB - The talented lads at Common Sense, after considerable physical and administrative labors, installed five large Peter Hide sculptures into the courtyard of the Royal Alberta Museum. We went up to see them together, and we had the kind of discussion about them that you can only have about excellent art - admiring the workmanship, debating what details could stand improvement, and otherwise basking in the glow of artistic achievement. Hide brings a certain playfulness to a loyally abstract effort, which comes through even when rendered in steel by the ton, making the heavy plate dance and hover aloft. And like any good modernist, he brings the best forward. After Michelangelo comes out of his viewing of the reclining tomb figures in Rome, and Malevich Extended riffs on Suprematist circles and rectangles in a manner entirely becoming his medium. Art objects get a particular look when the artist reworks them via a drawing stage. This is Hide's practice, and it results in areas, often entire works, that affect the hackles like good music.

Photos available at Studiosavant because my Internet connection blows this morning.




September 17, 2008, 10:00 AM

Hide is one of the best sculptors alive, no doubt about it.



September 17, 2008, 10:05 AM

Any of these sitting on the roof of the Met would make Koon's work look like a bunch of balloon animals by comparison...


that guy

September 17, 2008, 10:14 AM

Great muscle! Kind of like Ralph Provisero on a cocaine steroid cocktail. "Malevich Extended" is best me thinks.



September 17, 2008, 11:04 AM

Peter Hide is a thug.

It is remarkable to view his work in company with other fair to middling stuff. You just can't miss how good he really is.



September 17, 2008, 12:13 PM

In a word (somewhat sullied by the McCain campaign) Peter Hide is a maverick...



September 17, 2008, 12:24 PM

So why do you think that this exhibition was ignored?



September 17, 2008, 12:32 PM

Excellent stuff. I can see a basis for the perception of playfulness, even a certain sensuousness, but there is also a bracing quality to it, a sort of astringency without harshness. It seems very focused and sure of itself, so to speak, confident and forthright. He's rather better with form, per se, than someone like Serra, who's over-reliant on mammoth scale and more or less cowing the viewer into submission. I find this Hide work much more engaging, not to mention less overblown.



September 17, 2008, 12:53 PM

talented lads

Coming from someone who's into his 5th-decade, thank you very much.

my Internet connection blows

Doesn't your onlineRVdoodad work from the middle of a cornfield? Maybe it needs to be 8 miles from a crop-circle.


Chris Rywalt

September 17, 2008, 4:15 PM

Jack, the QEII is less overblown than Serra.



September 17, 2008, 4:47 PM

Art objects get a particular look when the artist reworks them via a drawing stage.

Although I think I understand what you're getting at, I'd be interested to hear where you've come across this phenomena before, Franklin. Also, what specific kind of drawing are you talking about, because almost every time an artist touches a sculpture it is a redrawing of its contours.



September 17, 2008, 4:57 PM

Yes, Chris, but I'm trying to be, um, more compassionate and stuff. I'm told that's very in now. Or maybe it was a couple of years ago, but better late than never. That's why I didn't say anything about the (attributed to) Hirst spin thingie, or whatever it's called. I mean, if some people need to be told Hirst is a cynical clown who happens to be laughing all the way to the bank, I'm afraid they're probably beyond help anyway.



September 17, 2008, 8:18 PM

This should have read...

It is remarkable to view his work in company with other more
fair to middling stuff. You just can't miss how good he really is.

Hide is definitely not fair to middling.



September 17, 2008, 8:57 PM

Your meaning was clear enough, dude.

'Astringent' is an interesting word to describe a Hide sculpture. Last year I took a shot at describing the effect or impression his work made on me - I used 'acute'. After Michaelangelo and Equus can both be seen in one of the photos at that post.



September 18, 2008, 5:32 PM

My pick for Best In Show is After Michaelangelo, which I like even better from the back view.

Related to his 'astringency', I keep thinking of the word 'tight' as a good descriptor, like well-played improvisational jazz, made solid.



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