Series 8

2000-4 | ’These are vertebrae. It is a vertebrae series’, said Jeffrey Rubinoff. In his penultimate group of works, made in the first few years of the new millennium, Rubinoff continued his exploration of organic forms, basing the majority of his sculptures on bones in the spinal column. This time, however, he cast them entirely in stainless steel, which gave rise to a graceful, snaking series of compositions.

Series 8-1

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2000, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 7.5ft   W 2ft   L 2ft

The first sculpture of the series is the only one that isn’t based on a vertebrae. The motif at the crown of the work is actually inspired by an otter skull, though here its canines are hugely exaggerated, extending into two long forms that curl back on themselves. These curves echo the complex, tapering arrangement of the support, which resembles the sinews of a living body.
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The first sculpture of the series is the only one that isn’t based on a vertebrae. The motif at the crown of the work is actually inspired by an otter skull, though here its canines are hugely exaggerated, extending into two long forms that curl back on themselves. These curves echo the complex, tapering arrangement of the support, which resembles the sinews of a living body.

Series 8-2

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2000, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 6.5ft   W 1.5ft   L 1.5ft

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Series 8-2

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2000, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 6.5ft   W 1.5ft   L 1.5ft

After the sinuous curves of 8-1, this piece returns to a more geometrical vocabulary. The base is largely vertical, which rises to cradle the crowning motif like a pair of callipers. The ‘crown’ itself is based on the vertebrae of a deer, though here abstracted into a head-height cylinder through which one can look up towards an elegantly framed sky.

Series 8-3

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2001, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 8ft   W 2ft   L 1.5ft

In the third piece in the series, Rubinoff keeps the fundamental form of its predecessor but makes the support more fluid and organic. Rubinoff conceived these components as akin to muscles and tendons, which enter into a counterpoint with the bone forms above them, just as in real bodies.
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In the third piece in the series, Rubinoff keeps the fundamental form of its predecessor but makes the support more fluid and organic. Rubinoff conceived these components as akin to muscles and tendons, which enter into a counterpoint with the bone forms above them, just as in real bodies.

Series 8-4

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2002, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 7ft   W 3ft   L 1.5ft

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Series 8-4

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2002, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 7ft   W 3ft   L 1.5ft

The fourth piece in the series is the most sinuous of all. The support proliferates from two to three tendrils that rotate around each other as they loop into an extravagant S-shape, suspending the vertebrae at an almost horizontal angle, like a bird flying into the distance. Despite its delicacy, Rubinoff carefully engineered this and other pieces in the series to withstand 60mph storms often experienced on Hornby.

Series 8-5

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2003, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 8ft   W 2.5ft   L 2ft

In this piece Rubinoff alters the proportions of the components, making the vertebrae considerably more substantial than its predecessors, filling the previously hollow intervertebral disc, and extending the spinous process into something resembling a propeller blade. 
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In this piece Rubinoff alters the proportions of the components, making the vertebrae considerably more substantial than its predecessors, filling the previously hollow intervertebral disc, and extending the spinous process into something resembling a propeller blade. 

Series 8-6

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2003, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 7.5ft   W 2ft   L 2ft

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Series 8-6

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2003, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 7.5ft   W 2ft   L 2ft

Rubinoff’s late works might look very different from his early works, but all are infused with his enduring preoccupation with kinetic energy, visual counterpoint and weightless lift. This penultimate piece embodies all of those qualities. It is a tightly sprung work, in which the support separates and unites, whipping and curving its crowning motif into the air.

Series 8-7

Jeffrey Rubinoff

2004, Stainless 304 steel – Casting & Welded plate,
H 6.5ft   W 3ft   L 2ft

This, the final piece of Series 8, is in many respects the final work in a larger cycle that Rubinoff began fourteen years earlier, at the beginning of Series 6. All of these pieces engage with the processes of natural history to explore bigger issues of evolution and creativity, as well as life and death. ‘I would do skull pieces, and I would do things from dead objects’, Rubinoff once recalled, ‘but the concept was to bring it back alive’.
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This, the final piece of Series 8, is in many respects the final work in a larger cycle that Rubinoff began fourteen years earlier, at the beginning of Series 6. All of these pieces engage with the processes of natural history to explore bigger issues of evolution and creativity, as well as life and death. ‘I would do skull pieces, and I would do things from dead objects’, Rubinoff once recalled, ‘but the concept was to bring it back alive’.

Rubinoff Collection Overview

Early Works

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Series 4

Series 5

Series 6

Series 7

Series 8

Series 9

Early Works

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Series 4

Series 5

Series 6

Series 7

Series 8

Series 9