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Robert Klippel

RobertKlipel.jpg

Robert Klippel | Australia 1920-2001 | No. 247, Metal construction | 1965-68 | Welded and brazed steel, found objects, wood | 269 x 145 x 126cm (irreg., with base) | Purchased 1983. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Robert Klippel, 'Opus 247, metal construction 1965-68', 1969

Robert Klippel
Australia 1920-2001
No. 247, Metal construction 1965-68
Welded and brazed steel, found objects, wood
269 x 145 x 126cm (irreg., with base)
Purchased 1983. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Robert Klippel

No. 247, Metal construction 1965-68

Robert Klippel was one of Australia's pre-eminent sculptors, recognised for his abstract assemblages fashioned from scrap metal. He developed a childhood fascination with model-making, and later produced models for the Navy during service in World War Two. He attended night classes in sculpture at East Sydney Technical College at this time. 

Klippel moved to the United States in 1957 to teach at the Minneapolis School of Arts (1958-62). There he became increasingly interested in discarded metal and found objects, creating welded constructions from steel-plate, copper, and engine parts.

No. 247, Metal construction 1965-68 exemplifies this aspect of his work and is one of his signature pieces. The artist has transformed a disparate group of metal objects into a unified composition that is at once alien, and strangely familiar.

The sculpture, which comprises IBM computer parts and other recycled elements, is essentially abstract. Its scale and limb-like extensions, however, suggest the human form.