RICHARD DUCKER


SCULPTURE
all work copyright (c) Richard Ducker 2002-2019
PAINTINGS-DRAWINGS
SCULPTURE - 2012
EXHIBITION AT
CAFE GALLERY
SCULPTURE AND DRAWINGS
DALLA ROSA GALLERY, 2013
[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE]
SCULPTURE 2017
SCULPTURE 2017
Deceived by the world of objects, and the language to express them, Ducker’s work transforms these objects to explore the site where
language is a conflict between the desired and the expressed. Either by evoking the monumental, or revealing the formal void of the
object, the work expresses the anxiety of displacement. The narrative drives that this sets up allows the personal and the general to
coalesce around a sense of disappointment or frustration. The body  often inferred as an absent presence, referenced as either a
subject of consumer excess, or as the misplaced sense of ‘wrong place, wrong time'. The most recent work engages with the
inadequacy of language through both the dumbness of the ‘Blockhead series, and the fascination of Sci-fi iconography as a form of
meta language in the black flocked series. Richard Ducker has been a practicing artist since completing his MA at Goldsmiths in 1991.
- Richard Ducker, 2011


Richard Ducker’s sculpture continues to surprise the viewer and defy categorization; his ideas and objects are influenced by diverse
sources and paradigms that he brings together with a characteristic bravura. The sculptural objects he makes are at times both somber
and mischievous, often imbued with a sassy knowingness. Straying deliberately into various genres such as the sexually charged fetish
object or metaphorically overloaded ‘memento mori’, we encounter a rich conflation of image and object that uses and abuses our
notions of taste and cliché and turns them upside down. Success in Ducker’s work lies in use of process and skilful manipulation of
these diverse physical elements that add up to a kind of dyslexic personal poetry and grabs us by the collar with both humor and
pathos.  
- Matt Franks, 2008, Artist, Subject Leader in Sculpture, Camberwell College of Art


Emotionally evocative without ever telling a clear story, affecting without being obvious, Ducker’s sculptures seem to be there with the
mute theatricality of minimalism, yet to engage with notions of transformation. With simple formal means, they excavate fears, anxieties
and desires associated with the most visceral of physical sensations – attraction and repulsion, pleasure and pain, need and self-
sufficiency. The work keeps referring back to the body, a missing body we as viewers cannot help but imagine filling-in for with our own,
transforming it into the ill-fitting piece of a jigsaw we are trying in vain to complete with our presence.  
- Patrizia Di Bello, 2008, Professor, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College

If Richard Ducker’s previous sculptures turned the detritus of consumer culture into monuments to our obsession with things, this new
work turns monumental sculptural tropes into dumb chunks of material poised precariously between ugliness and fascination.
‘Blockhead’ seems to speak of rough marble as a trace of the hand of the artist, yet its grammar and syntax – from the material used,
polystyrene, to the disproportionate metal ‘plinth’ from which it collapses – do not quite grasp and relay an intended meaning. Like
dyslexic writing, it leaves us uncertain as to whether it is profoundly poetic or badly structured. ‘Dark Matter’ appears to quote a
monochromatic tradition, but on close inspection the black shards, insulating material covered in flock, have just as much in common
with the discarded props of a pre CGI sci-fi movie, when such concoctions had to make do as interstellar debris floating in deep space
or the rough surface of a new planet. Too casually unfinished to convince as a plaster model, ‘Untitled’ (2010) articulates its own
awkward pointlessness.
Failing to resolve into either sense or nonsense, Ducker’s sculptures turn the artist’s own alienation from language into a shared bodily
experience. They disturb the connection between form and meaning, between body and the ‘clean and proper self’ of a subjectivity that
has fully entered into language and the semiotic, yet they do not allow us to wallow in abjection and the symbolic. In Ducker’s work, now
as before, we are deceived by objects and failed by language, left in conflict between desire and meaning, daftness and poetry.
- Patrizia Di Bello, October 2011, Professor, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College