Why do public art commissions spark such controversy? The stories behind radical proposals for public sculptures in London – some realised, others thwarted – are drawn from the Henry Moore Institute’s rich collection of sculptors’ papers.
Laurence Bradshaw’s (1899–1978) iconic Karl Marx memorial (1956) became an ideological site prompting both pilgrimage and attack. Jacob Epstein’s (1880–1959) explicit nudes for the British Medical Association became a battleground for Modernism and are the subject of a new work by Neal White (b. 1966). Other featured artists include Rose Finn-Kelcey, Alfred Frank Hardiman, Paul Neagu and Oscar Nemon whose drawings and documents reveal sculpture’s passage into public life.
The Whitechapel Gallery archive exhibitions are generously supported by Catherine and Franck Petitgas.
The Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors’ Papers is a collection developed in a unique partnership between the Henry
Moore Institute and Leeds Museums and Galleries. This display is co-curated by the Whitechapel Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute.