Derrick Cherrie


Retroflex by Derrick Cherrie

Artwork Detail

'Retroflex' combines the intimacy of flesh with the impersonality of a public swimming pool or doctor’s surgery. Derrick Cherrie’s sculptures often borrow the attributes of furniture, setting up oppositions between human and architectural scale. He says, ‘Not only are my works offered as things for the body to get onto and into, in some ways they resemble the body itself, or its parts . . . what particularly interests me is that there’s often no clear demarcation between these [interpretations].’ With handrails that suggest strenuous physical activity in the gym, or perhaps fixtures in toilets for the

disabled, Retroflex has an uneasy physicality – the discomfort of private acts enacted publicly.

The ambiguous function of this work with its handlebars and chunky white zip visible along the bottom edge means that it hovers between a domestic environment and an industrial one, not quite belonging to either an interior or an exterior space. Part prop, part furniture it colonises both the wall and floor. The title suggests a certain bristling, retro-chic. William McAloon has suggested, “Its feel is that of 1960s or 1970s furniture, a period where notions of the “modern” and the “new” might be expressed un-ironically. In presenting the recent past as the new, Cherrie is investigating the process of manufacturing desire, the cyclic way in which the market creates, fulfils and re-creates desire.”

Derrick Cherrie
Production date
leather, polyurethane foam, stainless steel handles, waste fitting and zip
2500 x 1200 x 100 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1995
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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