27 June – 20 Sept 2009
Of all the art forms in Britain, sculpture is widely regarded as the most inventive and innovative. Over the decades the pace with which it has evolved to incorporate new materials, new forms and new ideas has been unmatched. With this exhibition, Tim Marlow provides an opportunity to trace the key moments from the mid 20th century to today.
From coloured steel in works by Anthony Caro, to Barry Flanagan’s soft fabric, sculpture is seen in a state of perpetual revolution. Gilbert & George proclaimed themselves to be Living Sculptures and made photo-based work for publications called ‘Magazine Sculptures’. Richard Long removes constraints of scale simply by walking in the landscape, and bringing back the evidence in text and photographs. Tony Cragg, Bill Woodrow, and Richard Deacon – the New Sculptors – re-introduce the urban landscape by giving scrap and other scavenged street materials unexpected new life, the 20th century equivalent of metaphysical poetry. This growing confidence with the exploration of materials can also be seen in Rachel Whiteread’s monumental casts and Rebecca Warren’s works in unfired clay.
This display marks the British Council’s 75th anniversary. It is one of five displays presented over one year and selected by guest curators who each contribute a distinct curatorial perspective. The final display in Spring 2010 will result from an international competition open to curators worldwide. Apply by 4 September 2009 at 14:00hours (GMT). Please click here to find out more.
This year long celebration is accompanied by a comprehensive and fully illustrated catalogue with essays by artist Michael Craig-Martin and visual arts director Andrea Rose, price £14.99.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
Hiscox’s sponsorship of the Whitechapel Gallery’s presentation of great collections underlines its commitment to promoting and protecting the very best in modern and contemporary art.