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Willard Boepple:
Disembodiment and Sensuality

by David Cohen


The sculptures of Willard Boepple are a riposte to Plato. At the very least, they engage in a game of cat and mouse with the Platonic concept of archetypes. Created in series, Boepple’s forms are utilitarian, commonplace, timeless things like ladders, shelves, rooms, railings, sawhorses, and benches. Though far from being functional within their given categories, the sculptures are, nonetheless, invariably recognizable and nameable in relation to the object-series to which they belong. They are also radically abstract, in the sense that they remove the viewer from any literal association with ladders, shelves, or rooms to a place where the given object’s related phenomenology is pushed to the fore: ascent and descent, storage and display, closure and disclosure. Boepple explores these pairings as dichotomies through processes of elaboration that are, by definition, the opposite of essence.

The Way Things Work #2, 2008.
Cast resin, 40 x 21 x 12 in.

Image: Etienne Frossard


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