If we imagine an extremely light artwork, in fact one with no mass, such as an electromagnetic wave traversing a gallery, whose presence can only be sensed via a suitable receiver (the spelling checker suggested “a suitable reviewer”) and juxtapose that to a lead metal sculpture, along what dimensions might we distinguish them? We know that even the densest matter in the universe is not really matter at all, that size doesn’t matter and that life, the universe and everything are mysteries all the way down to the Planck constant. Of course, one can fold lead … so perhaps not mass, but presence, made vivid by the contradictory softness, pliability, malleability (able to be hammered into shape), ductility (well, allegedly; perhaps compared with a stone; it means able to be drawn out, for example into wire, and good luck doing that with lead) and low melting point. It is the...
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February 23 2022
Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art
Lead in Modern and Contemporary Artedited by
Brian Reffin Smith
Online Issn: 1530-9282
Print Issn: 0024-094X
Leonardo (2022) 55 (1): 102–104.
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Brian Reffin Smith; Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art. Leonardo 2022; 55 (1): 102–104. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_r_02177
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