Rebecca Horn

Three Graces in Blue

Date: 1993

Technique: Structure of stainless steel, three containers of Plexiglas, pumping system, distilled water and ink

Dimensions: Structure: 477 x 223 x 224 cm Plexiglas: 193 Ø, 129,5 Ø, 88,5 Ø cm

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma

Reg. no.: 276

Entry date: 2005

On display

This iconic sculpture in the Es Baluard Collection has presided over the museum’s inner courtyard since it was inaugurated. Three Graces in Blue (1993) is an imposing exterior piece comprised of three large Plexiglas containers that are connected to each other, and arranged vertically by means of a stainless steel structure.

Horn plays with the sinuous shapes of these concave elements, present in her sculptural and installation production, and with the title of the work she activates shared readings and imaginaries in the spectator. The Greek myth of The Three Graces – representatives of beauty, love, sexuality and wisdom – converted practically into a genre in the history of classical art, is rescued by the German artist in a remake with an industrial appearance. The three bowls, connected by a pumping system that gives rise to an internal circuit with the water it contains, evoke three breasts or three curved lines associated to femininity which are interwoven with one another, as is customary in the depiction of the three sisters. In this way, the three become one, forming part of and sharing the water of the same process, one feeding the other, and this one the next, in an act of generosity and friendship, two values also implied by the myth of The Three Graces. The intense colour of the water is that of lapis lazuli, a powder that was used by classical painters to obtain the pigment known as ultramarine, utilised only in certain works because of its high cost.

The artist sets forth a double play in the same work, showing us a sculpture with a monumental appearance, thanks to the carcass that bestows the outer structure on it which holds up the containers, but the thing that actually activates the circuit and the water mechanism which lends meaning to the work is a simple drip. Because drips of water, their rhythms and presence, are another fundamental element of Horn’s installations and sculptures.


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