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Rebecca Warren is a British sculptor, and a nominee for the 2006 Turner Prize. She was born in London, studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths' College, University of London receiving a BA (Hons) (1989–92) before taking her MA in Fine Art at the Chelsea College of Art, London (1992–93). She then took on an artist in residence place at the Ruskin School, Oxford University, Oxford (1993–1994). Until 1997 a large part of Warren's output was produced as a collaboration with Fergal Stapleton. She was nominated for the Turner Prize for her sculptural installations in solo shows at Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, and Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, as well as her work in the Tate Triennial 2006.
She uses unfired clay as the basic material for her recent sculptural objects, often incorporating found elements and neon. From this raw substance she fashions crude, awkward shapes that suggest barely discernible forms. The plinths or shelves that support them provide a reference to sculptural syntax and in some works there have been allusions to the 'plastic dynamism' of Umberto Boccioni or the gestural cement and ceramic works of Lucio Fontana. 'The Emperor' is an amorphous mass that reads as a collection of intertwined forms, as bodies writhing in agony or entwined in ecstasy or as protruding limbs and members. The organic nature of the forms and the sense of tactility is emphasised by the peculiar lustre she applies to the unfired clay. The wickedness of flesh was a common subject in allegorical still life, suggested by splayed animal carcasses, and art historical debate has made much of the erotic allusions of phallic shapes. Warren toys with such ambiguities of meaning, using cartoon forms and almost slapstick techniques to construct a complex argument for the potential of form.
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