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ARTIST: Claes Hake (1998)
TECHNIQUE: Granite from Bohuslän


“I have no intention, no special message, no political ambitions that I try to express through my sculpture. A sculpture is a sculpture, just a sculpture and nothing else. It is like an independent creature. Having no need for others, it is good enough on its own.” That is what Claes Hake, the artist of Gate, says. The art work that you are now facing is both heavy and sleek; it opens up to the world and is place in union with the place and nature.

Claes Hake was born in Mölndal in 1945. He studied painting at the Valand Art School in Gothenburg. As time passed he got more interested in sculpture which led him to working with plastic objects. Later on he changed to working with clay, plaster and bronze. In the end he turned more and more to sculptures hewn out of rock. He was a part of the Borås International Sculpture biannual in 2012 and was in 2004 awarded Sten A Olsson´s Culture Stipend. Some of his works are Samurai in Gothenburg, Moa´s Rocks at Flemingsberg and Arch in Malmö.

To a great extent Hake works with large works for public places where art might be difficult to ignore.

Just like Pål Svensson´s Lightroom I and II, this work of art presents a controversial question. How belaboured must a material be in order to be called art? As earlier discussed during this walk, people since antiquity have believed that each sculpture once was hidden in its material. They meant that the artist liberates the sculpture from its prison. In this case the prison is granite from Bohuslän.

Gate demonstrates coarsely hewn but elegant form and its design is harmonious. The sculpture is both classic and modernistic at the same time. Granite as material is heavy and closed; its structure is characterized by pressure and heat. The material is not as traditional as marble, nor as magic as bronze. But the granite that Gate is made of can glisten a bit and in color range it can go from almost black to red and beige. Perhaps the wish to expose nature´s beauty is what actually makes Gate into art.

The raw surfaces of Gate give if a powerful character. It almost looks like something from a pre-historic culture. Hake did say in the introduction that “a sculpture is a sculpture.” This particular sculpture is however also its material: a weight and a presence that you do not pass without being affected. Here on the mount it is also exposed to the powers of the weather, which we all know can be unrelenting. Once during an autumn storm the work was damaged. Sometimes not even the heaviest or the coarsest material can stand against nature. In a way the accident adds to the value of the work: the granite removed out of its context by man can be turned over by winds. It is a reminder that even the least belaboured sculptures are something else than just a sculpture.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 maj 2024
Sidan publicerad av:
Piia Edh