Nikolaus Pevsner claimed that the English were “not a sculptural nation”. However, in the post-war years sculpture became increasingly important in artistic circles with the breakdown of the traditional hierarchies that placed painting above all other art forms. This loan exhibition, featuring selected works from the Jerwood Collection amongst others, will be the celebration of sculpture as an art form.
Following the two World Wars crafts men and women, artists and particularly sculptors pushed the boundaries of their medium in Britain and redefined their status within the cultural landscape, emerging as key figures in the modernist sculptural school. Arguably it could be claimed that Modern British Sculpture was the most advanced and outward-looking of all the art forms in Britain during the 20th Century, from the primitivist and raw works of Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier Brzeska to the cool and sleek modernism of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
This exhibition, contrasting diverse works from the Post-War years onwards, will demonstrate the diversity and quality of the sculptural form both within its normal tenets of abstract and figuration; metal, wood or stone, but also outside the normally conceived sphere of what is considered sculpture including ceramics. The nature of the work shown will be those examining, challenging and expounding on the qualities of their chosen material and concerned with its shape, colour and surface showing how artists within these mediums helped shape art that was truly significant.
Artists featured include Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Frink, Paul Mount, Michael Ayrton, Martin Jennings, Danny Lane, Terry New, Halima Cassell, Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, John Ward, Sam Herman, Stuart Devlin, Gerald Benney, Gillian Packard, Andrew Grima and Wendy Ramshaw.
Curated by Philip Smith, Associate Director of Lyon & Turnbull . Header image: Wendy Ramshaw (b.1939) Maquettes for screens at the V&A, 1995-96 (DETAIL)