Geometry and Symmetry — Overview
Armed with these discoveries, the artist decided to leave for Europe to pursue a career as an artist, targeting Paris, the capital of the pre-war avant-garde, first. Arriving in 1964, Araeen, however, was disenchanted with France and moved to London. Before long, he found a job as an engineer with British Petroleum and had developed an interest in one of the most successful sculptors in Britain, Anthony Caro. Caro’s work persuaded Araeen to try his hand at sculpture. Curator and scholar Courtney J. Martin writes, ‘Araeen’s fascination with Caro led him to believe they shared the same concerns, especially in the use of industrial materials, the relevance of color to steel, and the placement of sculpture on the ground'. As his practice progressed, Araeen moved away from Caro, deeming the British artist's work too 'compositional'. This dialogue helped formulate Araeen's concern for symmetry in art and underline the social aspect of his practice: unlike Caro's forms, Araeen's structures involve the movement of the spectator. Araeen aimed to move 'from hierarchy to an egalitarianism', a complex motivation that existed not only visually but also politically.