David Teager-Portman’s sculptures are illustrative and quasi-allegorical, the figures in his work become characters in a story of direct as well as ambiguous and duplicitous meanings. His sculptures often re-exam repeated fictional literary sources from throughout human history paired with autobiographical perspectives on societal and socio-political contexts. Working with performance artists he produces exhaustive studies recreating the story of each sculpture which eventually form dramatis personae.
The work has the monumental qualities of statues, yet the presence of the work is detached from our reality, like monuments from a lost civilization or from a forgotten era. Teager-Portman’s figures are dreamlike, juxtaposing subconscious evocations with traditional associations. The sculptures are a combination of figurative representation and symbolist elements; sections of the sculptures move from figurative rendition, leading into sharply carved lines and roughly hewn volumes.
His work uses gestural and tactile handling of traditional materials in an innovative and exploratory manner, developing the matter of the sculptures in an alchemical way. The work is concerned with humanity; its hopes and fears, triumphs and failures, its inevitabilities and its desire for permanence.
© All rights reserved, David Teager-Portman, 2020