Stainless steel gave Flugelman a medium that he essentially made his own. In his hands, it proved a versatile material, capable of translating ideas that were linear or shape-oriented. He made particularly felicitous use of the reflective properties of polished stainless steel. His mirroring-surfaces explored new ground regarding the relationship between a sculpture and its physical and social environment, and they dramatized the relationship between the sculpture’s planar parts.
Bert’s public sculptures have been essentially abstract for decades. His most recent work, recalling ammonite forms, retains a strong sense of mathematical design and a feeling for powerful, iconic and archetypal symbols. For all its grounding in geometry, it has always been vital for Flugelman that his sculpture remained open to layers of interpretation, and invited speculation.
For the last forty years, Bert Flugelman has been one of the comparatively few Australian sculptors to have successfully brought contemporary or radical sensibilities to the tradition of art for public spaces. As with most sculptors he can draw.