Object Image

Robert Hudson uses titles and visual illusions to create art that is puzzling and playful. The title After Wood suggests that Hudson was inspired by something he saw in the landscape of the West Coast, but it also draws our attention to the surfaces of the sculpture, which he shaped, scored, and then painted to look like organic material. He even fashioned the steel to look as if he had incorporated found objects into the work. The blocky feet that appear to be carved from wood are actually made of metal. The circles and arcs of the different components move in a complex web of directions, as if Hudson wanted to describe the workings of invisible forces. After Wood is a sculpture, a riddle, and a kinetic machine, all at once.

Credit: Gift of Mrs. Jaquelin Hume

1990
Painted steel
86.4 x 59.7 x 58.2 cm
1990.46A-B
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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