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Faust is one of Quinn's earliest works but articulates some of the artist's key themes such as immortality, death and material transformation. Made in 1988, it is the first work that the artist made from cast lead. Quinn modelled a head in clay and then cast it using the lost wax method. The final form of the sculpture incorporates the rods and cones that are used in the lost wax casting process. These angular, hard-edged forms not only create a visual contrast to the fleshy head they support, but also provide a trace of the work's material creation. Wax is a material that is highly mutable: it changes with swings in temperature and can be swiftly melted and then reformed into other things. Like the sculptures of Joseph Beuys, Faust harnesses the inherent meaning of certain materials, highlighting their potential for transformation and for meanings that can transcend their everyday use.

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