Smoking with self-portrait, 2019
Signed, dated and numbered verso 'Bruce McLean 1958-1963-2019 1/3'
Black and white inkjet photograph. Edition of 3. Carved in 1958 and photographed in 1963. Rephotographed in 2019.
Photography by Alexandria Savege.
14 x 14 in, 35.6 x 35.6 cm
Created specifically for this exhibition, in Smoking with self-portrait Bruce McLean revisits the figure of Henry Moore. Reimagined from a 1963 photograph taken while at Glasgow School of Art, McLean...
Created specifically for this exhibition, in Smoking with self-portrait Bruce McLean revisits the figure of Henry Moore. Reimagined from a 1963 photograph taken while at Glasgow School of Art, McLean jokingly plays with the grandiosity of Moore’s sculptures by posing with one of his own works carved in 1958 - styled after Moore - and a cigarette.
A vital force in contemporary art, in the late 1960s and early 1970s McLean created multiple series of works dealing with the nature and meaning of sculpture such as Pose Works for Plinths from 1971. In these comical performances, originally conceived at the Situation Gallery and later documented through photography, McLean places himself as one of Moore’s reclining figures.
In Smoking with self-portrait McLean once again subverts the perceived aura of the artwork. Presenting his Moore-like sculpture as an object that can be played with instead of revered in a museum, McLean brings the stone carving back to the physical world of reality. This is something McLean echoes in an interview stating that, ‘Henry Moore made me want to do it: I liked the volume, the form and the fact that it looked “modern”. He didn’t try to make it look like somebody. It looked like what it was. It looked like a sculpture’.