Ron Mueck

Spooning Couple (2005)

About this artwork

Presenting a psychological drama is one of Mueck’s chief aims in creating his sculptures. This is nowhere better seen than in ‘Spooning Couple’. The figures are lying together on a low plinth so that we look down on them from a bird’s eye perspective. The man, naked from the waist down, and the woman, naked from the waist up, are lying together, almost in a foetal position, her body fitting into the hollow of his – like spoons. They may be ‘spooning’ in a literal way, but they are in anything but a warm, loving embrace. Their expressions show them to be deep in their own separate worlds. The man almost catches our gaze in complicit acknowledgement that the bond between them seems to have broken down.

  • title: Spooning Couple
  • accession number: AR00033
  • artist: Ron MueckAustralian (born 1958)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Nudity Young British Artists (YBA's)
  • date created: 2005
  • measurements: 69.00 x 82.70 x 62.40 cm (displayed: 116.50 x 104.00 x 79.0 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Ron Mueck
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck

Mueck gained international recognition in 1997 for his sculpture ‘Dead dad’ which was part of the infamous ‘Young British Artists’ ‘Sensation’ exhibition, devoted to the work of young British artists, at London’s Royal Academy. Mueck’s sculptures are all of the human figure, some smaller than life-size, some larger. In them he aims to capture the feeling of key moments in our passage through life. With their uncanny realism and minute detail, Mueck shocks us into reassessing ourselves. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Mueck began his career as a model-maker and puppeteer in childrens’ TV. In 1986 he moved to London and ten years later he devoted himself to making ‘fine’ art. In 2001 he exhibited the colossal 'Untitled (Boy)' at the Venice Biennale.