The Will to Proceed to the End of the Possible by Rachel Kneebone

This disquieting porcelain sculpture is the first work by this celebrated contemporary artist to be acquired by a public collection in Britain.


70cm x 50cm x 57cm
Art Fund grant:
£20,000 ( Total: £64,000)
Acquired in:
White Cube

The hand-built piece comprises a writhing mass of decaying, organic-looking forms – some resembling human limbs, flowers and tendrils – sitting on a heavily cracked rectangular base. Kneebone studied ceramics in Bristol and at the Royal College of Art in London. Her practice makes reference to long traditions in art and sculpture, both in forms and themes, and a particular influence has been the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The title of Kneebone’s work is a quote from Georges Bataille, the French cultural theorist known for his explorations of the relationships between horror and desire, obedience and transgression. By making reference to Bataille’s ideas, Kneebone provides a clue to the rich themes represented in her sculpture. There is beauty and chaos, fragility and strength, tradition and radical departure, all present in this one monumental and mesmerising piece.


The artist.

Venue details

National Museum Cardiff Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP 029 2039 7951

Entry details

Free to all
Offers with National Art Pass

Tues – Sun & most Bank Holiday Mondays
10am – 5pm (Galleries close 4.45pm)

Closed 24 – 26 Dec, 1 Jan

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