Play Things: Some Contemporary Artists and their Objects
The function and materiality of the art object, when investigated by artists, often evokes a childlike sense. Be they miniatures, process-related installations or large minimalist works, these objects call upon the viewer to look at them as if for the first time. As so much contemporary art retreats from theory and aims to locate itself squarely in the everyday, the art objects social function is also more assured, bringing the artist and the audience closer together. Paradoxically, this use-effect is best achieved by artists by emphasising the dysfunction of the object and some of those who best achieve this are Paul Saint, Stephen Birch, Jean Arp, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Tom Friedman, Robert Pulie, Simryn Gill, Mikala Dwyer and David Griggs.