126 x 110 x 110 cm
Dumb Bell 1998
Richard Deacon born 1949
Dumb Bell resembles both a bell and a squat figure.
A bell which is not hung is silent and therefore dumb:
likewise a figure devoid of features cannot communicate.
In US slang a dumb-bell means a stupid person.
A dumb-bell is also a weight for developing muscle.
Although this sculpture looks heavy, it is surprisingly light
being hollow and made of spun alumimium.
This adds further enigma and ambiguity to its meaning.
Deacon belongs to a group of British sculptors
whose work is fabricated from industrial materials,
rather than crafted from those traditionally
associated with sculpture, such as marble or bronze.
The forms he creates are memorable and allusive.
Often there is a reference to the body or the senses:
titles and language also play an important role
in the meaning and interpretation of his sculptures.
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme, supported by
funds from Arts Council Lottery and Manchester City Galleries' Corporate Patrons (M20157)