The exhibition Infinite Sculptures. From the Antique Cast to the 3D Scan (Paris, 4 December 2019–16 February 2020; Lisbon, 18 September 2020–25 January 2021) is the result of collaboration between the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Beaux-Arts de Paris and explores the role of plaster casting in current artistic practice, examining its manifold possibilities.
The Lisbon version brings together plaster works from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon and pieces by 18 contemporary artists (16 sculptures and 2 films) who use casts – from plaster to other materials – and more modern techniques in the creation of their works.
The catalogue published to accompany the exhibition is an adapted version of the French edition and features contributions by a number of writers. Penelope Curtis, who coordinated the team of curators, introduces us to the key theme of the exhibition, explaining the choices that led to the project.
Eckart Marchand, the author of various publications on plaster casting, has written an essay on plaster collections over the last few centuries. Élisabeth Le Breton, Emmanuel Schwartz and Alice Thomine-Berrada then write about the plaster collection of the Beaux-Arts de Paris, while Eduardo Duarte and Victor dos Reis describe the history of the equivalent collection of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon.
The publication also includes texts about the 16 contemporary sculptors whose works are displayed in the exhibition, alongside the plaster collections. These reflections by the curators (Penelope Curtis, Rita Fabiana, Thierry Leviez and Armelle Pradalier) describe the artists’ respective backgrounds, highlighting the works on display and the way in which the selected artists have approached the casting technique.
The catalogue includes photographs from the repositories of the Beaux-arts de Paris and the Lisbon Faculty of Fine Arts, together with images of the contemporary works and the exhibition held in the Main Gallery at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
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