If contemporary sculpture is your thing, then you’ll know the late Australian artist Clement Meadmore. He’s generally considered one of this country’s most important modern sculptors.
In a typical Meadmore sculpture, a large rectangular volume of steel twists and turns upon itself. The point about his classic works is that they are huge, and so the great curl of steel takes on this epic scale, as if mighty and usually exuberant forces are at work. In Melbourne, a massive steel structure called Dervish has been sitting beside the Yarra River for 20 years. Another Meadmore sculpture called Flippant Flurry slumbers on the rooftop of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It was hidden behind a wall until 2010, now it can be seen through the glass panes of the gallery rooms. But a Meadmore sculpture titled Janus has met a more controversial fate. Australia donated Janus to Mexico City for the Mexico Olympics in 1968, and for a while it was on public display, but that’s no longer the case. Since 1996, it’s been inside the grounds of a private school. Some people are now saying the Mexican government has effectively abandoned this gift and Australia should now ask for it to be returned.
Guests: David Hulme, Art consultant and valuer with Sydney’s art valuing and brokerage outfit, Banziger Hulme Fine Art, and Richard Broinowski, Former Ambassador to Mexico (1994-97)