Past the entrance into the first exhibition space, the first work visitors encounter at Towada Art Center is Ron Mueck’s enormous, striking four-meter statue of a woman. The effect is almost overwhelming, and the woman’s melancholic appearance is so realistic that it makes the gap between us and her gargantuan scale all the more unsettling. Her sightline is beyond our reach, as she gazes out the window, looking askance as though following some passerby. But in the constantly-shifting natural light, and in our movements around her, she presents many different aspects, inspiring us to imagine her life, as well as our own lives and deaths. Mueck’s woman is not just a sculpture as an object, but rather a presence for evoking backgrounds and stories.
Having gained global acclaim with his gigantic sculpture Boy, Mueck is known for his scrupulous recreations of delicate features of the human body− skin, wrinkles, bulging veins, individual strands of hair−but always with audacious changes in scale. His subjects have remained largely fictional since his early works.
Photo: Oyamada Kuniya
Courtesy Anthony d’Offay, London
Born 1958 in Melbourne, Australia; lives and works in London, UK. After working in children’s television, motion picture special effects and advertising for many years, Mueck attracted a great deal of attention for his tiny and uncanny realistic sculpture Dead Dad, which he made to come to terms with his father’s death. He has had solo exhibitions at the National Gallery (London, 2003) and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (Paris, France, 2013), among many others, and his works are in the collections of numerous museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (US) and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (US).