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date: 05 December 2019

Mattox, Charles Porter locked

  • Hugh Davies


(b Bronson, KS, 1910; d Albuquerque, NM, April 16, 1996). American sculptor. He studied at Bethany College and the Kansas City Art Institute until 1931, and in 1933–4 with Arshile Gorky in New York, where he managed mural projects for the Work Projects Administration. In 1935 he moved briefly to Arkansas, then to Santa Fe, then again in 1936 to Los Angeles, where from 1942 to 1950 he worked as a special effects and set designer in Hollywood. Thereafter he taught at Berkeley, then at the University of New Mexico where he worked with computer graphics. Many of the kinetic sculptures he constructed from 1964 in Albuquerque include sound. These are often based on curved geometrical shapes (usually about 1 metre tall but occasionally up to 3 or 4 metres), whose internal cavities are carefully designed to have particular resonant properties; the structures are slowly rotated by a motor or rocked on a curved base by the exhibition visitor, causing sounds to be made by, for example, stainless steel rods (...

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