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Sculpture and the Sculptural

Author(s): Erik Koed


Source: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 63, No. 2 (Spring, 2005), pp. 147-154
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Society for Aesthetics
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ERIK KOED

Sculptureand the Sculptural

Pictures and the pictorial are the subjects of a


burgeoning philosophical literature. Sculpture
and the sculptural,by contrast, have received
little attention. What recent philosophical
thought there has been has focused almost
exclusively on the nature of sculpture, rather
than the sculptural, and has sought to understand the art form primarily in terms of the
physical characteristicsof art materialsand the
role of our perceptualand cognitive faculties in
appreciation.I will arguethat these theories fail
to provide an adequateconception of sculpture,
or its differences from painting and pictures.
Instead, I develop a theory of the sculpturalin
terms of a distinctive way of using materialsas
an artisticmedium. Such an account enables us
to understandthe sculpturalfeaturesof artworks
whether or not they are sculptures,painting, or
other kinds of work. I build on this account of
the sculptural to suggest that the category of
sculpturecan best be understoodin terms of the
relationshipof works to a traditionof art practice in which the sculpturaluse of materials is
standard.This conception of sculptureand the
sculptural,I suggest, has explanatoryutility and
is evaluatively relevant without being overly
prescriptive.
I. THEORIESOF THE NATURE OF SCULPTURE

Physical three-dimensionality
In its most basic form, this idea holds simply
that sculptures are those art objects that are
three-dimensional. The contrast here may be
with a conception of the pictorial arts as being
two-dimensional. Whereas painters and photographers and the like produce flat objects,

sculptors produce objects in the round. This


typical commonsensethoughtis widely assumed
in the philosophicalliterature.HerbertRead, for
example,assertsthat"thepeculiarityof sculpture
as an art is that it creates a three-dimensional
object in space," whereas painting "may strive
to give, on a two-dimensionalplane, the illusion
of space."' Similarly,F. David Martinmaintains
the traditionalview that sculpture is basically
and paintingtwo-dimensional.2
three-dimensional
Naum Gabo ("sculpture is three-dimensional
eo ipso") and L. R. Rogers ("whatbasically distinguishes sculpture from painting is...the
mundane and marvelous fact that it extends
three-dimensionallyratherthan two-dimensionally") are among those sculptors who have
made similartheoreticalclaims.3
The problem with this idea considered in its
most basic form is that all instantiated or
embodied artworks,including pictorial works,
are three-dimensionalin theirmaterialconstruction. It follows that the distinctive nature of
the sculpturalcannot lie in its physical threedimensionality. Of course, sculptures may
typically be less "flat"than paintings, but this
neither grounds a distinctive sculpturalnature,
nor offers us the resources for explaining why
sculptural works may generally be "rounder"
than paintings.
RobertVance gives this idea a more sophisticated form. Vance claims that "sculpturesare
objects designed in three dimensions" and that
"whatcounts for sculptureis real occupancy of
space."4But while the notion of design gives
access to a way of distinguishingsculpted from
naturalobjects, it cannot distinguishthem from
other kinds of artworksthat are also designed
and fashionedout of three-dimensionalmaterials
and for which the "real occupancy of space"

TheJournalof AestheticsandArtCriticism63:2 Spring2005

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The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism

matter.A similar approachwould be to suggest


thatalthoughpictorialworksmay be constructed
from three-dimensional materials, only their
two-dimensional surface properties are artistically relevant, whereas three-dimensional
properties are artistically relevant to our
appreciationof sculptural works. But we have
to be careful here, for there are a number of
ways three-dimensional properties might be
artistically relevant, and at least some of these
ways seem standard to pictorial arts such as
painting. As will be discussed further in
Section II, paintings take their appearanceand
embody their two-dimensional properties in
virtue of their three-dimensional construction,
and this relationship often plays a role in our
appreciationof them. An appeal to differences
in the artistic relevance of the two- and threedimensional in the pictorial and the sculptural
cannot be explained simply by an appeal to
the dimensional qualities of material.
Perceptual modes
A second approachto the question is to argue
thatthe natureof the sculpturecan be understood
in terms of the essential role in appreciationof
one or more modes of sensory perception,such
as touch. Read, for example,holds thatsculpture
is "an art of palpation"that gives preferenceto
tactile sensations.5But touch does not have a
necessary role in our appreciationof sculptural
works,for therearemany instancesof sculptures
thatcannotor arenot intendedto be touched,and
also for which touch has no role in appreciation.
Think, for example, of most monumental
statuary,Dan Flavin's Neon sculptures,Naum
Gabo's flimsy and convoluted forms, or even
Damien Hirst's animals preservedbehind glass
in formaldehyde,all of which are clearly intended to operate and be appreciatedprimarilyin
terms of their visual effects. Further,a strong
case has been made by Dominic Lopes for the
possibility of "tactile pictures,"on the basis of
the abilityof the blindto both createandinterpret
complex raised-lineperspectivaldrawings(more
on this in Section II).6
Perceptualphenomena
A third general approach appeals to the distinctive phenomenal content of our perceptual

experience. Read, for example, claims that our


experience of sculpture has "nothing in common with visual perception,i.e., with the visual
impression of a three-dimensionalform on a
two-dimensionalplane,"since sculptures(unlike
pictures) utilize actual rather than illusory
space.7 F. David Martin claims that the nature
of the sculpture lies in the distinctive way it
manifests itself in our perceptions,in particular
a phenomenon he calls "enlivened space" or
"impactingbetween"thatmakesthe space around
sculpturea perceptiblepartof the work in virtue
of a sculpture's location in a space continuous
with our own.8 Similarly, Susanne K. Langer
argues that sculptureis characterizedby a distinctive variety of virtual space, understoodin
terms of the way our experience of space is
structuredor organizedin our experience of the
work. According to Langer, as distinct from
painting, "a piece of sculpture is a center of
three-dimensionalspace. It is a virtual kinetic
volume, which dominatesthe surroundingspace,
and this environment derives all proportions
and relationsfrom it, as the actual environment
does from oneself."9
The space of sculpturalworks is often continuous with our own space, but this is neither
always nor exclusively the case, for it seems
that the space of the work may be relatedto our
space in a variety of ways in both painting and
sculpture.The apparentspace of either kind of
work can seem continuous or discontinuous
with our own; and the space representedin a
work can be representedas located in or dislocated from our own space. Familiar arguments
underminethe notion that picturingis a matter
of illusion, although some kinds of pictures
do give the illusion of space (for example,
trompe-l'oeil paintings).10 Read's distinction
between sculpture and painting in terms of
actual and illusory space is underminedby the
fact that spatial illusion may also be an important feature of sculptural works. In George
Rickey's Two Lines sculptures,for example, it
is hardto judge from any perspectivethe length
and angle of projection of the twin offset
blades. Nor need spatialillusions be confined to
vision-things may, for example, sound further
away than they really are. With respect to Martin's and Lange's theses, it should be noted that
large abstractcolor-field paintings and trompel'oeil paintingare examples of types of pictorial

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149

Koed Sculptureand the Sculptural


works that create an apparent space that
imposes itself on us in perceptionin this manner, or that forms a kinetic center aroundwhich
our experience of the space of the work and its
location is structured.Conversely, some very
frontal sculpturalworks, such as statuaryhigh
on buildings, do not seem to fill or energize
space, or form an experiential kinetic spatial
center. Even if there are some general differences in the typical content of our experiences
of sculpturesand pictorialworks, these generalizations themselves require an explanation and
do not in themselves seem sufficient to ground
an account of these as works of essentially
differentkinds.
Sensibility
A fourth, more promising, approach seeks to
ground an account in the involvement of a distinctive sensibility in productionand appreciation. Read, for example, suggests that sculpture
requiresthe involvement of a specifically plastic sensibility ("morecomplex than the specifically visual sensibility")."l Central to this
sensibility is a sensation of volume as denoted
by plane surfaces (perceiving from depth to
surface), a notion that Read illustratesby quoting Rodin: "Insteadof imagining the different
parts of a body as surfaces more or less flat, I
represented them as projectors of interior
volumes. I forced myself to express in each
swelling of the torso or of the limbs the efflorescence of a muscle or of a bone which lay
deep beneath the skin. And so the truth of my
figures, instead of being merely superficial,
seems to blossom from within to the outside,
like life itself."l2 Also held centralto this sensibility is a synthetic realization of the mass and
ponderability of the object (visualization of a
complete form as if held within the hand). Here
Read appeals to Henry Moore's view that the
sculptor"gets the solid shape, as it were, inside
his head-he thinks of it, whatever its size, as
if he were holding it completely enclosed in the
hollow of his hand. He mentally visualizes a
complete formfrom all round itself; he knows
while he looks at one side what the other side is
like; he identifies himself with its centre of
gravity, it mass, its weight; he realizes its
volume, as the space that the shape displaces in
the air."l3

But while perception "fromdepth to surface


or from surface to depth"may well be characteristic of our experience of Rodinesque works,
it does not seem necessary to our appreciation
of all sculpture. Think again of Dan Flavin's
neon sculptures, or Alexander Calder's
"mobiles," such as his Red Polygons, which
simply consist of articulatedsurfaces that seem
to lack interior volumes almost entirely. Furthermore, it seems true of some paintings that
the thickness or depthof the paint, and not simply our experience of surface qualities, enters
into our appreciationto the extent that our feeling for it is integral to our experience of the
work-this seems true at least of some works
of van Gogh, Auerbach, or even Rembrandt.
Further, palpability on the metaphor of the
enclosed hollow of a hand, even if true of the
production and apperication of Moore's
sculpture, seems antithetical to works such as
Anthony Caro's Early One Morning, which are
principally concerned with the arrangementof
abstractline and form. Works such as Michael
Heizer's Double Negative, Robert Smithson's
Spiral Jetty, LotharBaumgarten'sTerraIncognita, or Hans Haacke's Condensation Cube
seem even furtherremoved from this conception. But as the quote from Moore illustrates,
the process of realizing the mass and pondersability of the object will sometimes be an
imaginative process of visualization, which sits
uneasily with Read's claim that the plastic sensibility has nothing in common with the visual.
Indeed, we may sometimes imagine the mass
and ponderabilityof a painting's materialconstruction (and certainly of its represented
object) in ways that seem consistent with
Moore's notion of visualization.
In a similar vein, RobertVance builds on his
view of sculptureto claim that being designed
to occupy three-dimensionalspaces related to
the spaces we ourselves occupy makes them
dependant on the appreciator's bodily selfawareness in a way that differs significantly
from the pictorial.Ourobservationsof sculpture
evoke "nonpropositional"tactile, haptic, and
kinaesthetic imaginings involving somatic sensations, engendering identification with the
sculpture "tantamountto my imagining my
being (the part of) the sculpture, identifying
with it as if its sculpturallyarticulatedmaterial
were my own body in which I feel its apparent

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The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism

weight and degree of equilibrium."14


AlthoughI
think it doubtfulthat to imagine feeling the surface or weightiness of the sculptureis itself to
imagine being the sculpture or to imagine the
sculpture as one's own body, we can imagine
in the way Vance describes and doing so may
be appropriate to the appreciation of some
sculptural works. But such imagination does
not seem to be involved in our appreciationof
all sculpturalworks. Furthermore,nonpropositional imaginings do sometimes play a role in
our appreciation of other kinds of art-we
might also imagine the thickness and resistance
of the paint in its applicationto the canvas, or
the mass and density of its final hardenedstate,
or in viewing a picture imagine its represented
featuresas being experiencedby ourselves.
In a related approach,L. R. Rogers proposes
that "sculpturalthinking" differs qualitatively
from the kind of thinking involved in other
kinds of artistic production or appreciation.15
Rogers holds that complex spatial thinking in
terms of three-dimensionalform or spatial concepts is found most thoroughly and with less
restriction in sculpture than in the other arts.
This variety of thinking involves both "analyzing complex forms, particularlynaturalforms,"
and "manipulating,combining, and performing
operationsupon easily conceived spatial forms
in orderto develop more complex forms that are
not directly derived from objects."16 Spatial
forms, on this account,aretakento involve both
"structurein space" (mass and the displacement
or occupation of space), and "structure of
space" (voids or the spatial relations between
material elements).17 Sculptors (and, presumably, appreciators) need on this view to be
schooled in general principles of the construction of three-dimensionalform, or the "logic of
form,"which makes the articulationof forms in
sculptureintelligible.
Rogers may be right to hold that thinking
with or through three-dimensionalspatial concepts or forms plays a centralrole in the production and appreciationof sculpturalworks, but it
also seems to play a role in other kinds of art.18
It is certainlynot unusualin the pictorialartsfor
artists to think and work with spatial concepts
and articulateforms in just this kind of way, not
only in conceiving but also in executing their
works. For it is not just representedforms that
might be thoughtof and articulatedin this way,

but also the material constructionof the work


such that the three-dimensionalformal properties of the paint on the canvas might be of special practical interest to the painter. Roger's
claim, however, was not that this kind of thinking was the exclusive preserveof the sculptural,
but that it is found most clearly expressed and
realized in the production of sculpture. But if
there is a difference between the pictorial and
the sculpturalin the relationship between this
kind of thinking and the realizationor appreciation of a work, then it is not obvious just from
the notion of complex spatialthinkingin threedimensions what this differencemight be. More
needs to be said if something is to be made of
this conception.
II. THE SCULPTURALMEDIUM

In appreciatingan artwork as an artwork, we


attend to the medium of the work. That is to
say, we attend to the way materials are used
towardthe end of content and, at the same time,
to the content as realized through that use of
materials, rather than solely to the material
construction or the content of the work. One
reason the examined theories fail to identify
characteristicsessential to sculptureis that they
focus on the psychological mechanisms or
physical materials(and their effects) employed
in the production and appreciation of works,
ratherthan on the ways these materialsare used
to function as an artisticmedium.19My suggestion is that the sculptural, and how it differs
from the pictorial, can be understood in terms
of a distinctive way of using the physical and
perceptual properties of materials as an art
medium. What separates the pictorial and the
sculptural is not, for example, whether threedimensional materials are used or whether
three-dimensionalspace is represented.Rather,
it is the way representationis achieved, and the
way it is interpreted,through distinctive ways
of using materialsas a medium for representation. An account of the sculpturalin terms of
medium enables us to understand general
physical and perceptual differences between
sculptures and paintings as contingent rather
than essential. At the same time, such an
account of the sculpturalprovides the basis for
an alternativeaccount of sculptureas an art.

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Koed Sculptureand the Sculptural


I suggested in relationto the "physicalthreedimensionality"view thatthere are a numberof
ways three-dimensional properties might be
artistically relevant. Differences in the artistic
relevance of physical and perceptual features
are determined in large part by differences in
the ways such features are used to function as
an artisticmedium.Independentof such considerationsof use, thereis nothingthat can account
for a propertyor kind of propertyhaving this or
that relevance in appreciation.If we now consider the role of materials in their use as a
medium, there are at least three obvious ways
the three-dimensional properties of material
might be artistically relevant. There is the
simple idea that any two-dimensionalsurfaceof
a work only appears to us the way it does
because, among other things, of the way the
materials used in its production have been
shaped. In the pictorial arts, for example, a
painted or printed surface appears the way it
does because of the way paint or other substances have been applied in three dimensions
to some part of a three-dimensionalbody. The
same might be said of the relationshipof twodimensional surface properties in sculpture to
their three-dimensionalunderpinnings.But in
such an instance, it is the two-dimensional
surface propertiesof the material(for example,
the planararrangementof line and color), rather
than the three-dimensional properties themselves, which function as the medium of
representation or expression. Those threedimensional properties are artistically relevant
only in so far as they are a material condition
for the two-dimensional surface propertiesthat
function as the artistic medium. The focus of
appreciationof the work in such a case rests at
the level of the relationshipbetween the twodimensional surface properties and the work
content.
Extendingthis point, we can think of cases in
which work content is realized via the functioning of two-dimensional surface properties of
material as a medium (for which the threedimensional properties of the material are a
base) but for which the relationshipof texture
with two-dimensional surface properties and
representedcontent is itself a matterof interest
in appreciatingthe work. For example, in some
of the portrait works of Auerbach, such as
several of his versions of Head of E. O. Wilson,

it seems thathad the paint not been appliedwith


those very three-dimensionalcharacteristics,the
face could not appearto us as it does. Nevertheless, the characteristicprotrudingthickness of
the paint does not itself representthe protruding
thickness of a jaw or a brow so much as underpin its representationthrough the supervening
two-dimensional surface properties in such a
way that we cannot ignore the connection in
appreciatingthe work.
I take these two ways in which threedimensional properties can be artistically
relevant to be distinct from a third kind of
relationshipwherein the thickness or weight of
the material itself plays the role of artistic
medium. In this third case, we do, for example,
take the protrusionsand ridges of the material
art-objectthemselves to representthe protrusion
of brow and cheekbones. Although both depiction and sculpting involve the use or construction of materials in three-dimensions, my
suggestion is that only for sculpturalworks are
the three-dimensionalpropertiesof the material
art-objectartisticallyrelevant in this third way
of functioning as an artistic medium. A work
will be sculptural,on this account, just to the
extent that the use of the three-dimensional
propertiesof materialsfunctionsas a mediumin
this way. For the pictorial, on the other hand,
three-dimensional properties need only be
artistically relevant in the minimal first sense
and may also be relevant in the second,
althoughI do not proposeeither as sufficientfor
the pictorial.Three-dimensionalpropertiesmay
also feature in the first and second ways in
sculpturalworks, but this is incidental to their
natureas sculptural.
An advantage of conceiving of works as
sculptural in so far as the use of the threedimensionalpropertiesof materialsfunctions as
an artisticmedium for the work is that it is able
to account for the kinds of featuresto which the
earlier four theories appealed but failed to
explain. For, on this conception, if sculptural
works tend to be bulkier objects than pictorial
works, if it generallymakes more sense to touch
or to walk around sculptural than pictorial
works, or if there are differences in the perceptual effects and phenomenatypically associated
with sculpturalworks, then this will be because
of differences in the ways the physical and
perceptualpropertiesof materialsare used as a

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The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism

medium. It should not be surprising that the


sculptural use of materials has tended contingently to result in the productionof works more
massive than those in which two-dimensional
ratherthan three-dimensionalfeatures function
as a medium. To the extent that it makes more
sense to touch or move around sculptural
than pictorial works, this can be explained in
terms of generaldifferencesin the configuration
of materials that are likely to result from the
different ways materials and propertiesessentially function artisticallywhen they are used as
sculpturalor pictorial media, and the resultant
contingent variations in the appropriatenessto
appreciationof touch and shifting perspectives.
Likewise, the sculpturalrole of particularways
of thinking or imagining in terms of threedimensional form, spatial concepts, visual,
tactile, somatic, and haptic sensations can be
made sense of in terms of their relationshipto
sculpturaluse of materials as a medium in the
productionand appreciationof works. It is not
that we could not or do not think and imagine in
these ways in producing and appreciating
pictorialworks, but that these activities are differentlyrelatedto the ways the propertiesof the
materialart-objectare used as an artmedium.
It may be objected that this account of
the sculptural fails for reasons identified by
Dominic Lopes in his account of tactile
pictures. For while my account shares Lopes's
rejectionof a distinctionbetween the sculptural
and the pictorial grounded in the role of the
sense modes, would not tactile pictures as
Lopes conceives them nevertheless count as
sculpturalworks on my account?I do not think
they would, because on Lopes's account the use
of three-dimensionalpropertiesof materialdoes
not function as a medium of representation,but
ratherfunctions in the first (and possibly in the
second) sense of artistic relevance I identified
above. Certainly,if the three-dimensionalityof
the raised lines in Lopes's tactile pictures itself
were to function as a medium for representation, then those works would be sculpturalon
my account.But on Lopes's account,as I understand it, the three-dimensionalityof the raised
lines serves only to convey to the appreciator
the two-dimensional configuration of line and
field, and it is that two-dimensionalconfiguration that in turn functions as the medium for
representation.This is not quite the same as

RobertHopkins's point that althoughtouch can


inform us about perspectival outline shape, it
does not present it to us but only enables us to
form othermentalstates thatrepresentit to us.20
Hopkins does not take this claim about the role
of touch to prove the impossibility of tactile
pictures,but ratherthatvisual and tactile experience play different kinds of roles in picturing,
such that tactile pictures fail to exhibit those
aesthetic features that are distinctively pictorial.21The difference is that on my account it
is not the role of touch or vision thatis essential
to the distinction between the pictorial and
the sculptural, but rather the way in which
the dimensional properties of material, however perceived, function as a representational
medium.
A further objection might hold that my
account cannot possibly succeed given we find
this same use of materialsnot just in sculpture
but also in architecture,jewelry, or, indeed,
painting. But it is worth noting that to give an
accountof the natureof the sculpturalis not quite
the same as giving an account of what makes
somethinga sculpture,any more thanan account
of the pictorialgives us a full accountof painting.
Indeed,just as paintingis but one of severalpictorial arts, such as photography,film, or video,
so, too, when we considerjewelry, architecture,
and installationworks we find that sculptureis
not the only sculpturalart. An understandingof
sculptureor painting, or their differences with
other sculpturalor pictorialworks, can hardlybe
exhaustedby our understandingof the natureof
the sculpturalor the pictorial.
In this regard it can be helpful to recall
Kendall Walton's notion of standard,variable,
and contra-standard features of artworks,
whereby a feature is "standard"with respect to
a category just if it is one of those in virtue of
which works in that category belong to that
category; "variable"in so far as the feature is
irrelevant to a work's belonging to that category; and "contra-standard"in so far as the
presence of that feature tends to disqualify
works as belonging to that category.22On this
model we might conceive of the category of
"sculpture" as a tradition of art practice in
which the sculpturaluse of materials is standard.This is not to say thatthe categoryof sculpture is to be equatedwith a singulartraditionof
art practice and, of course, traditionscan shift

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Koed Sculptureand the Sculptural


and change over time and across cultures.
Works that do not belong to this category may
well nevertheless involve a sculptural use of
materialswhere this use is variable(as in architecture)or contra-standard(as in painting).
The more or less exclusive association of the
sculptural with sculpture, and of the pictorial
with painting and drawing, that may have
existed in the past (at least if we consider the
mainstreamof the Western art tradition)seems
largely an historical accident that certainly
came to an end with the modem and postmodem periods. Indeed, as Rosalind Krauss has
observed, recent shifts in the conventions and
logic of art practice are such that "the category
[of sculpture] has now been forced to cover
such a heterogeneitythat it is, itself, in danger
of collapsing."23 Consider, for example,
Michael Heizer's Double Negative, Eva Hesse's
Aught, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Rachel
Whiteread's casts of building interiors,Joseph
Beuys's "social sculpture," Richard Long's
workof Ben Nichol"walks,"the "mixed-media"
son, Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon, or even
Anselm Kiefer's Isis and Osiris.
One might, of course, have supposedthat the
diversity of works and practices in the modemrn
and postmodernperiods, and between cultures
and across time, makes implausibleany account
of the natureof sculptureor the sculptural.The
diversity characteristicof the contemporaryart
world might well undermine theories of the
nature of sculpture that appeal to particular
physical properties of materials, or to the
involvement of specific perceptual modes,
phenomena,or sensibilities, as criteria.But the
conception I propose of sculpture in terms of
the sculpturalis compatible with this kind of
diversitywithin sculpture,and also with the fact
that we can and do speak of the sculpturalelements of mixed-media works that we would
not, perhaps, classify as "sculptures."All the
preceding examples are sculptural works, or
have significant sculptural elements, but are
they sculptures?The answer, on the proposed
account, will depend on the facts of the works'
relationshipto the traditionsof art practice out
of which they emerge. Whether works are
sculptures may, of course, be relevant to our
appreciationof them. But whereas the value of
a concern with works belonging to the category
of sculpture decreases as the diversity of art

153
practices increases, an interest in the ways that
materials have been used sculpturallyremains
of interesteven if the works have little relationship to a given traditionof sculpture.
Such diversity may also undermineaccounts
of sculpture and the sculpturalthat equate the
value of works with theirdegree of fidelity to an
ideal nature.Mine is not such an account.There
is a middle groundbetween an essentialismthat
is overly prescriptivewith respect to evaluative
issues, and an essentialism that is of little relevance to them. The account I have sketched
does not help much in knowing or deciding
which sculpturesare good, typical, or paradigmatic, but it remainsevaluatively relevantwithIt identifies
out being evaluativelyprescriptive.24
the ground of sculpturalvalue at its most basic
level without predetermining the appropriate
content of any evaluativejudgments concerning
the value of any given kind or piece of sculptural work. Distinctively sculpturalvalues, on
this account, will be those values tied to the
sculpturaluse of materials.What those values
are, andthe ways particularkinds of thinkingand
imagining are related to the production and
appreciationof works throughthe sculpturaluse
of materials,will be among the concerns of a
broaderaestheticsof the sculptural.An account
of the natureof the sculpturalcan providea foundationand orientationfor the largerand complex
projectof constructingsuch an aesthetics.25
ERIK KOED

Wellington,NewZealand
@mch.govt.nz
Erik.Koed
INTERNET:
1. Herbert Read, The Art of Sculpture (London: Faber
and FaberLtd, 1956), p. 46.
2. F. David Martin,Sculptureand EnlivenedSpace (The
University Press of Kentucky,1981).
3. Naum Gabo, as quoted in Donald Brook, "Perception
and the Appraisalof Sculpture,"The Journal of Aesthetics
and Art Criticism 27 (1969): 323; and L. R. Rogers in
"Sculpture,Space, and Being Within Things," The British
Journal ofAesthetics 23 (1983): 166.
4. Robert Vance, "Sculpture,"The British Journal of
Aesthetics 35 (1995): 224, 217.
5. Read, TheArt of Sculpture,p. 49.
6. Dominic M. Lopes, "ArtMedia and the Sense Modalities: Tactile Pictures,"Philosophical Quarterly47 (1997):
425-440.
7. Read, TheArt of Sculpture,p. 71.
8. Martin,Sculptureand EnlivenedSpace, p. 14.

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154

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism

9. Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form (London:


Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1959), p. 91.
10. See, for example, Richard Wollheim's arguments
in Painting as an Art (London:Thames & Hudson, 1987),
pp. 37-39.
11. Read, TheArt of Sculpture,p. 71.
12. Read, TheArt of Sculpture,p. 73, quotingRodin.
13. Herbert Read, "Notes on Sculpture" in Henry
Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, 2nd ed. (London: Percy
Lund, 1946), p. xl.
14. Vance, "Sculpture,"pp. 224-225.
15. L. R. Rogers, "SculpturalThinking," The British
Journal of Aesthetics 2 (1962): 291-300; and L. R. Rogers,
"SculpturalThinking-2: A Reply," The British Journal of
Aesthetics 3 (1963): 357-362.
16. Rogers, "SculpturalThinking,"p. 293.
17. Rogers, "SculpturalThinking,"p. 297.
18. Here I differ from Donald Brook ("Sculptural
Thinking-I: Rogers on SculpturalThinking,"The British
JournalofAesthetics3 [1963]:352-357), who holds thatRogers's conceptionof "sculpturalthinking"seems characteristic
of some kinds of sculptureonly. Althoughsome of Rogers's
attemptsto clarify his idea do seem in dangerof falling into
the trapBrookpointsout, his basic conceptiondoes not.
19. By 'psychological mechanisms' I mean the perceptual and cognitive faculties, capacities, and abilities that
make possible the use of materials in productive and
appreciative art practices. By 'physical materials' I mean
the "stuff"used in making artworks,including substances
and theirvariousphysical and basic perceptualproperties.
20. Robert Hopkins, "Touching Pictures," The British
Journal of Aesthetics40 (2000): 156.

21. Hopkins,"TouchingPictures,"p. 167.


22. See KendallWalton, "Categoriesof Art"as reprinted
in Philosophy Looksat the Arts: ContemporaryReadings in
Aesthetics, ed. Joseph Margolis (Temple University Press,
1987), p. 57.
23. Rosalind E. Krauss, "Sculpture in the Expanded
Field" in The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other
Modernist Myths (MIT Press, 1987), p. 278. Krauss
discusses sculpture in more detail in her Passages in
ModernSculpture(MIT Press, 1998).
24. I am in agreement, this far, with Gregory Currie,
Image and Mind: Film, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science
(CambridgeUniversityPress, 1995), p. 1.
25. Researchfor this article was made possible by grants
from the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals,
St. Leonard's College of St. Andrews University, the EU
Socrates/ErasmusProgramme, and the Danish Research
Academy, and this assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
Versions of this paper were presented at St. Andrews
University Moral Philosophy Research Seminar;the Henry
Moore Institute,Leeds, 2000; the AustralasianAssociation
for Philosophy (New Zealand Division) Conference at
Victoria University Wellington, 2000; the Bilkent University Philosophy Research Seminar; and in absentia in
summary at the American Society for Aesthetics Annual
Conference in Minneapolis,2001. Particularthanksare due
to this journal's editor and referees whose thoroughreview
of draftsled to many improvements,and also to Berys Gaut,
John Haldane, Paisley Livingston, Alex Neill, Derek
Matravers,Peter Lamarque,and Julie van Camp for their
feedback on earlier versions of the paper and related
material.

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