'It's the presence of the body on the body of the earth'
In a new series, artists exhibiting at Frieze London selected works at Frieze Masters that spoke to them.
Antony Gormley, whose Station XV (2014) is on view at the stand of Galerie Thaddeus Ropac (Frieze London B8), selected Robert Rauschenberg's Clay painting (for John Cage and Merce Cunningham) (1953/92), at the stand of Luxembourg & Dayan (Frieze Masters D7).
Robert Rauschenberg, Clay painting (for John Cage and Merce Cunningham) (1953/92). Courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan.
Rauschenberg made this for John Cage and Merce Cunningham. He borrowed it from them for a retrospective in 1953. He never returned it - it feel apart. So he re-made it, and gave it back to Cunningham when Cage died.
It’s art about time: the cracking of the surface shows time's passing. As artists, we all have to be aware and accept that nature will adapt the works we make. This piece returns us the earth, the fundamental of art. It’s the presence of the body on the body on the earth. The earliest art is this too: at Lascaux, you see Cro Magnon footprints.
I am working on a dance piece for Göteborg Opera, with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. It will open with the stage covered in clay - a responsive ground.
Visiting this fair has become so rich, and itsto do with dialogues. This place grounds the other one, and gives it a new dimension. I think we have to drop this idea of “progress” in art as inevitability. This work reminds me that creativity comes from a fundamental place.