Exhibition: Pop Up, 1995
38' x 1' x 8'
There is a rawness in Claes' latest stone sculptures that gives them a special character. A minimum of culture and a maximum of nature. In his work from the late 1980s and early 1990s, he plays off highly-polished diabase or granite against raw stone. He is currently concentrating on raw stone. He "defies" the natural laws of gravity by allowing his mighty blocks of granite to "hover" above the ground. The actual dimension plays an important role; to make us realize our insignificance, warn us against arrogance, and to remind us of the greater whole with which city people are losing touch to an increasing degree. Claes' huge granite arches are a type of ready-mades. The technical problems involved in releasing such huge blocks of stone from rocks and mountains are maximum, while what is done to the stone is minimum. By placing granite arches of this kind in an urban setting he creates a clash between nature and culture, where nature is timeless and culture is ephemeral. Placing (the sculpture) in natural surroundings results in the same clash in reverse. The crucial point is that nature is naturally always superior. (excerpt from a statement by Folke Edwards, Goteborg, Sept. 1st)