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OLEG PROKOFIEV

SCULPTURE 1979 -1982


Henry Moore was the last representative of a traditional line in sculpture, yet for Prokofiev, Moore were less relevant than Alexander Calder. Calder’s mobiles entered into a space, giving it more significance than it being simply becoming a part of solid mass. Prokofiev considered this idea as fundamental to understanding the basic principles of Twentieth century sculpture, also admiring work by David Smith and Anthony Caro who worked these ideas in metal. Excited by his recent move out of the limits of flat canvas, Prokofiev found that the old problem of how to represent depth in two-dimensions vanished.

Oleg Prokofiev: Sculpture 1979-82 ‘The real struggle is now in full bloom, the struggle with myself and with the wood with all the additions, reductions, changes… It is very important at this stage to keep along with the exactitude of calculation the element of improvisation and even of the absurd.’ Intention and Realisation, Oleg Prokofiev

Using found objects such as small squashed tins, broken chair legs or pieces of machinery, he developed a magpie obsession over the accidental treasures found on the street. Frustrated by his lack of D.I.Y skills, he was delighted to discover the hot glue gun- a bad moment for many of his constructions which have since needed some serious repair. His foray into using aluminium added a more rarefied character, giving a sense of openness rather than mass and volume. He soon, however, found metal and wood to be ‘bad allies’- metal had an inherent alien coldness to it whilst wood was warmer, more charming. The crucial point in the creative process frequently came after despairing that his structure was not what he intended, or had first imagined. Once he even dropped a piece he was working on, breaking it. He writes that after recovering from his ‘regrets’, he reshuffled the fragments until he found at the end exactly what he was looking for. These labours in the dark gave no thought to his original idea, having to relinquish it in the process of finding it again. During these beginnings he produced some 200 works, in his efforts to develop ideas and solve problems.


Couple 1982 Painted wood 58 x 21 x 18 cm


Untitled 1980 Wood 48 x 43 x 35 cm


Untitled 1980 Wood & Metal 67 x 90 x 11 cm


Untitled 1981 Wood 26 x 24 x 21 cm


Untitled 1981 Wood 69 x 35 X 23 cm


Opus 1 1979 Wood & Metal 40 x 32 x 7 cm


Opus 2 1979 Wood 22 X 70 X 19 cm


Opus 3 1979 Painted wood 63 x 33 x 17 cm


Opus 4 1979 Wood & Metal 55 x 49 x 23 cm


Opus 5 1979 Wood & Metal 48 x 30 x 19 cm


Opus 6 1979 Wood & Metal 38 x 32 x 35 cm


Opus 7 1979 Wood & metal 65 x 41 x 29 cm


Opus 30 1980 Wood 36 x 80 x 11 cm


Opus 68 1980 wood 68 x 125 x 11 cm


Opus 99 1980 Wood & Metal 48 x 43 x 35 cm


Opus 133 1981 Wood & rope 64 x 25 x 16 cm


Opus 138 1981 Wood 48 x 117 x 10 cm


Opus 140 1981 Wood 57 x 60 x 16 cm


Opus 143 (Dog) 1981 Wood 57 x 54 x 10 cm


Opus 144 1981 Wood 57 x 30 X 10 cm


Opus 147 1981 wood 67 x 14 x 9 cm


Opus 151 1981 Wood 28 X 51 X 7 cm


Opus 152 1981 Wood 62 x 33 x 7 cm


Hay Hill Gallery, 35 Baker Street, London W1U 8EN T: +44 (0) 20 7486 6006 www.hayhillgallery.com E:info@hayhillgallery.com F: +44 (0) 70 5362 1735


Oleg Prokofiev: Sculptures 1979-1982