Important Australian + International Fine Art
22 November 2023


(1929 - 2005)


23.0 x 28.5 x 21.0 cm

edition: 5/8

signed, dated and numbered at base: Meadmore 1994 5/8
dated, numbered and inscribed with title on base: ‘Scronch’ / 1994 5/8 / ART

AU$35,000 – $45,000
Sold for $51,545 (inc. BP) in Auction 76 - 22 November 2023, Sydney

The Clement Meadmore Foundation, New York
David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, USA
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago, USA, 14 December 2017, lot 7
Private collection, Sydney
Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 28 November 2018, lot 45
Private collection, Sydney

Catalogue text

‘I am interested in geometry as a grammar which, if understood, can be used with great flexibility and expressiveness.’1
One of the most highly regarded and internationally acclaimed Australian artists of his generation, Clement Meadmore remains revered for thoughtful, impeccably executed sculptures that unify pure stark geometry with expressive gesture. Invariably constructed from one single square-sectioned beam that has been bent and coiled to the artistic aim of the artist, indeed his masterful constructions evince a seemingly implausible sense of dynamism and musical rhythm that belies their unyielding medium. Whether monumental outdoor commissions or smaller scale domestic maquettes, Meadmore’s forms typically twist, turn and writhe – their suggested animation thus adding a humanising balance to the all-too-often bland immobility and visual harshness of our modern built environments. As Gibson astutely observes, the opposition between line and mass lies at the very core of Meadmore’s sculptures: ‘…in their form they suggest the rapid motion through space of a limb or body…or the residue of such motion. They have more in common with purely aesthetic things such as a drawn line, than with a recognisable object existing in the world even though, by virtue of their sheer physical bulk and size and scale, they are undeniably that…’2
Bearing a title that evokes the notion of something being crushed, crunched or crumpled, Scronch, 1994 offers a superb example of Meadmore’s constructions from his final decade during which he returned to his dense, coiled sculptures of the 1960s and early 1970s. Such free-flowing exchange of ideas within his own oeuvre was not uncommon for Meadmore, and thus the present maquette is strongly reminiscent of large-scale sculptures such as Hunch, 1974 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) or Clench, 1972 (Kitz Valve Co., Makuhari, Japan. Closely related to works such as Terpsichore, 1993 (Smith College Museum of Art, Massachusetts) and Helix, 1993 (Collection of the artist’s estate), both executed the year prior, Scronch nevertheless departs from the coil configurations of previous decades in its more pronounced Baroque flavour. Evolving in an intuitive manner from a geometric vocabulary in a similar way to a Jazz improvisation, moreover these creations all share unmistakable affinities with the musical genre of which Meadmore was a well-known aficionado; as Gibson suggests, ‘Rhythms gather and are released – they pick up momentum and slow down, begin with sudden intensity and stop with equal abruptness. His sculptures simultaneously suggest uninterrupted flow and caesura.’3
1. Meadmore cited at: (accessed October 2023)
2. Gibson, E., The Sculpture of Clement Meadmore, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1994, p. 52
3. ibid., p. 57