Black Drop


Simon Starling ( British, 1967 )

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General Description

Neopolitanz is an impossible union of three concrete walls. The name, a reference to the colors of Neapolitan ice cream, adds a twist of humor and irony to the sculpture. Actually made from styrofoam, the sculpture reproduces the worn look of aging walls, which seem to have been salvaged from a junkyard or demolition site and repur­posed as art. Like much of Hughes’s work, there is a sense that the materials allude to personal memories from the artist’s childhood spent skateboarding in parking lots on the outskirts of suburban Birmingham, England. Hughes’s decision to reinterpret what appears to be trash calls attention to deteriorating urban architecture as a marker of civic neglect and the romanticization of objects like these because of their familiarity.

Adapted from

  • Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 211.

Web Resources

  • Tate
    Explore the 2006 exhibition Art Now: Richard Hughes through texts, videos, and images.