Imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality, Conrad Shawcross’ often monumental sculptures explore subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Inspired by different technologies, the artist's structures may retain in appearance the authority of machines – yet their raison d’être remains illusive, filled with paradox and wonder. Some have a melancholy feel, while others tend to the sublime, substituting the purely functional for phenomenological experience. Over two decades, Shawcross has paid tribute to some of the great pioneers and analysts, and considered specific moments or figures from the past. Shawcross’ art dons a cloak of rationality in order to conceal its more poetic heart. Interrogating what we take for granted and encouraging us to see beyond the physical and remember how limited our perception envelope really is.
Conrad Shawcross (London, UK, 1977) lives and works in London. He has completed numerous monumental public commissions across the world, including Paradigm (2016) outside the Francis Crick Institute in London; The Optic Cloak (2016) in Greenwich, UK; Exploded Paradigm (2018) inside the atrium of the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, USA; Schism (2020) at Château La Coste in Provence, France; the 4.5-metre tall Enwrought Light Fracture in honour of the poet W.B. Yeats in Chiswick (2022); and Manifold 5:4 (2023) at the Liverpool Street Entrance to the Elizabeth Line. He has exhibited at institutions across the world, including: Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania; Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut, USA; the National Gallery, London, UK; ARTMIA, Beijing, China; Château La Coste, Provence, France. He was elected Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2013.