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Triennale Milano

A Talk on Man in a Boat

August 3 2022
Charles Clarke, assistant to Ron Mueck, talks about the artist's sculpture in Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain's Mondo Reale exhibition.
A man sits arms crossed in the prow of a long boat, naked. He leans to the side and stares out into the middle distance. As other Ron Mueck’s meticulously sculpted figures, Man in a Boat reflects an inner world of private feelings with unsettling power. By creating over-scaled or under-scaled human-like sculptures, Ron Mueck proposes a journey into the subconscious, connecting with the visitors, who are engaged in a deep empathetic link with archetypical figures. Charles Clarke, Mueck’s assistant, talks about the sculpture and the way it participates to Mondo Reale, welcoming the visitor at the entrance of the exhibition.
Artist’s biography: Ron Mueck was born to German parents in Melbourne, Australia, in 1958. Having begun his career in the world of film and television, Mueck’s move into fine art was initiated by a collaboration with Paula Rego at the Hayward Gallery in 1996. A year later, his sculpture Dead Dad, a three-foot representation of the artist’s father, became a highlight of the era-defining Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in  London. This landmark group show established Mueck as one of the most important artists of his generation. Since then, his work has been shown in solo exhibitions at prominent  institutions, including the 49th  International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2001); the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2018); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  (2017);  Sara  Hildén  Art  Museum, Tampere, Finland (2016); Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna  (2016); Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (2014); and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne  (2010); and  at  Fondation  Cartier, Paris, in two  highly  acclaimed  exhibitions (in  2005  and  2013). In 2017, Mueck was invited to make a  new work for the inaugural NGV Triennial in Melbourne (the monumental installation Mass). Currently, Ron Mueck presents his work at the MAC Belfast (July-November 2022).

Man in a Boat © Andrea Rossetti
Man in a Boat, detail © Andrea Rossetti
Mondo Reale is presented by The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, as part of the 23rd International Exhibition Unknown Unknowns. An introduction to Mysteries. Conceived in collaboration with Italian designers Formafantasma, Mondo Reale presents works by seventeen international contemporary artists.