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Modern Sculpture in the 1980s

One very strong influence in modern sculpture during the 1980s was that of conceptual art. It has been noted that sculptors in the 1980s could be contrasted with those of the 1970s in "their preference for metaphor over symbol, and for poetic ellipsis rather than literary and discursive content, together with their methods of entwining visual and verbal allusions into a densely impacted image" (Cooke 50). One American sculptor who exhibited this particular influence in the 1980s was Walter Martin. Martin's works involved interplays between objects which resulted in visual jokes. For example, his Snail, snail, come out of your hole/or else I'll beat you black as a coal (1987) consists of an overturned piano propped against a pole, with a long rope attached to the pole. Beneath the precariously perched piano is a sheet of music. The image obviously duplicates that of a simple rabbit trap, except that Martin's structure is apparently designed to trap musicians instead of rabbits. Another sculpture by Walter Martin, Of bodies born up by water (1987), consists of a grandfather clock with its base partially "chopped down" as if by the axe of a lumberjack. Another American sculptor in the 1980s exhibiting a strong taste for visual metaphor was Brower Hatcher. Hatcher's Starman (1985-1988) possesses a bronze face which is crashing into a pile of imitation stone. From the back of the bronze face, a mesh of aluminum wire streams upward into the sky. Intertwined among


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