Metal is ubiquitous. We wear it, dwell inside structures built of it, and cook and eat with it. The development of civilization itself depended on our ancestors’ ability to craft metal tools and weapons, paving the way for advancements in agriculture, warfare, transportation and architecture. This substance, whether in pure element, alloy or compound form, has served as a mother lode of ideas and materials for artists for centuries.
Heavy Metal features artworks made of metal or materials disguised to resemble metal, as well as images of or about lustrous chemical elements. Exhibition artists exploit the key properties of their metal or metal-like materials, such as strength, ductility and plasticity, to develop innovative forms and imagery. Keenly aware of the connotations of their chosen medium, these artists address topics including race and gender equality, commerce, personal narrative and the proliferation of warfare, among others. Sometimes weighty, other times lighthearted, the themes expressed in Heavy Metal are articulated both through abstraction and realistic representation.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.