This exhibition focuses on formative periods in the career of American sculptor Richard Hunt, whose 130-plus public commissions in more than 24 states have made him a legendary figure in modern and contemporary sculpture. Hunt, whose career has spanned six decades, has also been a formidable presence in redefining the role of public sculpture in the late 20th and early 21st century.
His parallel studio career shows his experimentation with a variety of media, methods and formal considerations, but has been underexplored critically as an essential aspect of his later success.
The exhibition features several sculptures and works on paper that trace the various phases of Hunt’s career, including welded and cast sculpture dating from the 1950s to the present and models he made after his transition to large-scale public commissions in the late 1960s. Lithographs and other works on paper illustrate the artist’s consistent fascination with linear forms that provides the foundation for many of his three-dimensional works and the conceptual basis for his complex sense of design. Hunt studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1950s and began his career as abstract and modern sculptural practice came into focus. Following the example of sculptors such as Julio Gonzalez and David Smith, his development as an artist was underscored by a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1971. (Works from this watershed exhibition are included in "Richard Hunt: Synthesis.")