White Cube has recently announced its global representation of American sculptor Richard Hunt, marking a significant moment for both the gallery and the artist. Known for his thought-provoking sculptures, Hunt will make his debut at Art Basel Miami Beach with “Years of Pilgrimage” (1999) from his “Plow” series, a work that encapsulates his long-standing artistic themes.
Hunt’s sculptures, often created from steel tubing, draw inspiration from his grandfather’s sharecropping past, yet they move beyond mere functionality to explore broader themes. His approach intertwines the history of twentieth-century sculpture with his personal experiences as a Black man.
Sukanya Rajaratnam of White Cube highlights Hunt’s impact on the art world, noting his significant number of public monuments in the U.S. and his skill in blending historical art with personal narrative. Hunt’s sculptures, Rajaratnam notes, symbolize his belief in art as a means of freedom.
Born in 1935, Hunt’s roots are in Chicago, where he was born to the descendants of enslaved Africans. His style is often compared to other notable American sculptors like David Smith, but Hunt’s work diverges in its embrace of metal’s raw qualities, reflecting the complexities of human experience.
“Slowly Toward the North” (1984), another piece from Hunt’s “Plow” series and displayed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is a tribute to the Great Migration. The sculpture’s sharp planes resemble a push plow and reflect elements from Hunt’s African art collection, symbolizing the journey of millions during the Great Migration.
Hunt’s collaboration with White Cube was influenced by their representation of Isamu Noguchi, an artist he deeply admires. The introduction to the gallery was facilitated by Pamela Joyner, a collector of Hunt’s work.
In partnering with White Cube, Hunt expressed his desire for his art to resonate with people globally, especially in its exploration of freedom. With a solo exhibition at White Cube’s Madison Avenue location planned for spring 2024, Richard Hunt’s legacy in modern sculpture continues to evolve and engage audiences worldwide.