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Inner Strength

Published April 24, 2020

Ray Klausen (American), Inner Strength (1992). Painted stainless steel and rope. FSU MoFA 93.21.

Not much is known about the background of this piece, or the artist’s motive behind it. One can discern the thick beige rope juxtaposed within a skeleton of cold, hard, black metal. The contrast in actual textures is immediately apparent in this sculpture; likely to communicate the similarities in strength and hardiness both materials hold. The contrast of the texture between the metal and rope tells a story in itself, both are difficult materials to damage, but in different ways. While you can take a hammer to the metal and dent it; the rope bounces back. While you can take a knife and cut the rope, the knife simply scratches the metal.

Exhibition Notes:

Inner Strength was intended to sit on a pedestal along the right wall of the WJB gallery. Flanked by Rosenthal Bag at left and Three Serrated Kings at right, this piece would have provided a contrast to the color used in the surrounding work, with Greener Conquests positioned across from it. Of the objects within the gallery, Inner Strength is unique in its variety of textures. The smooth and hard surface of the steel, in addition to the rough and pliable nature of the rope presented an opportunity for the audience to compare and contrast with the surfaces of the other objects. The orientation of the metal and rope demonstrates the artist’s efforts to explore obscure forms.