Bryan Hunt, 1982

This bronze sculpture belongs to Hunt’s waterfall series. It shows the structure of falling masses of water completely removed from their natural terrain. The coolness and sheer mass of the material tangibly convey to us the monumental qualities of the natural spectacle. His abstract representation merges with visions of the tumbling, foaming cascade in our memory, coming together to create an emotional artistic experience. Hunt’s sculpture points to humankind’s primal longing for a connection between nature and culture.

Bronze sculpture on a concrete base that impressively reproduces a solidified waterfall. Bronze sculpture on a concrete base that impressively reproduces a solidified waterfall.

Image Credits


Peter Peer

Location on map

Position 8


Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien

Artist biography

Bryan Hunt

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About the sculpture

In the early 1970s, Bryan Hunt created model-like sculptures of famous American architectural landmarks (the Empire State Building, the Hoover dam); he also created streamlined, purist forms, deriving their shape from airships. Both groups can be associated with Hunt’s professional career – he first worked as a space technician and then in construction.

Around 1976 he enters a completely new work phase: in vividly modelled sculptures he pursues the image of amorphic natural phenomena such as lakes, rivers or water falls. Hunt’s “Charioteer” belongs to the waterfall series: bronze sculptures, which with the coolness and mass of the material convey the striking natural spectacle. In this, the structure of the falling water masses is completely taken out of its natural context: the surrounding terrain. It stands free and without reference in space, whereas the shape of the materially undetermined can be guessed from the positive of the sculpture alone.

For Hunt, however, it is not about depiction: rather he transfers the natural phenomenon into abstract, sculptural values, which will then fuse into an emotional experience of art with the recollected image of falling, foaming masses of water. This experience should be seen to be analogous to the effect of the natural phenomenon. With reference to a famous motif of antique sculpture (The Charioteer) he associates natural form and art form, thereby referring to an archaic principle of perception which – just like in the myth – expresses human yearning for a fusion of nature with culture.

Hunt’s early works were still determined by the minimalist trends of American sculpture of the 1960s and 70s, but in these works, which equally touch the worlds of feelings and thoughts of the beholder, he takes on a clear contra-position.