Art Metropole was delighted to celebrate the launch of Robin Peck’s new artist book, Sculpture, A Journey to the Circumference of the Earth. The new publication was feted at Art Met on December 16th, with the artist present for a book reading.
Sculpture, A Journey to the Circumference of the Earth is a study of the philosophy, history and material technology of sculpture within the context of a travel narrative. The book structure follows Peckâ€™s travel in the field of sculpture with a companion, â€œthe sculptorâ€ (a very real but composite character of shifting gender), from New York to Transylvania, across Europe to Paris, England and Iceland. The manuscript for Sculpture, A Journey to the Circumference of the Earth, was written in 2002, under the tenure of a Canada Council Senior Arts Grant in Criticism. It is based on a series of notes begun in the late 1980s that continued to the present day. (Some portions of these notes have been previously published as magazine essays in C Magazine, Parachute, Boo Magazine, Canadian Art, or as essays in exhibition catalogues).
This book includes a bibliography and extensive footnotes. It will be of interest to persons with an art background (students, teachers, working artists, etc.) but this is not a prerequisite. This is an engaging, readable book that can appeal to a general audience and a general art audience. There are few contemporary books in this field and none that use the form of a sculptural travelogue. Of modest size, this book is an easily transportable object that will fit lightly to hand as a travel companion. Thus the book as sculptural object will be an extension of Peckâ€™s sculptural travelogue narrative.
Robin Peck was born and grew up in rural Alberta, Canada within sight of the Rocky Mountains. He had a memorable rural childhood (architect Douglas Cardinal was a neighbour), but left Alberta in 1968, first for art school in British Columbia, then for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since then he has worked as an artist, a writer on art, an independent curator and an educator. He has taught sculpture, art history and criticism in various universities and colleges and has lived in several North American cities.
It was in Vancouver, British Columbia during the mid-1980s that Robin Peck first began to develop a sculptural travelogue narrative within an essay format, a writing form that would be compatible with his experience of producing and viewing sculpture. He exhibits at Canada, an independent art gallery in New York City and his essays appear regularly in a variety of international art publications.
In the late 1990s Robin Peck returned to rural Alberta, to live on the site of his grandfatherâ€™s former ranch (est. 1890) where he has established his permanent studio residence in the midst of a private wildlife refuge. From there it is a one hour drive west to the Rocky Mountains, a one drive hour east to the Red Deer River Badlands and a one hour drive south to an international airport. Peck maintains that he needs all three.
2: Art Metropole director Ann Dean (far right) and guest listen attentively to Robin Peck read from his newest work.
3: The artist reading from his new publication Sculpture, A Journey to the Circumference of the Earth.