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The Sculpture Collections

22 March – 2 September 2018

Release date: Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Rebecca Land

  • By Rebecca Land
  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Head of Marketing & Communications

Twenty-five years since opening, the Henry Moore Institute celebrates its enduring partnership with Leeds Art Gallery.

Through the close and long-standing partnership with the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Museums and Galleries now holds one of the most exciting and extensive collections of British sculpture in the world. This major presentation of the collections, featuring some 150 exhibits and spanning fourteen spaces across the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery, is the most expansive to date. It tells a story of sculpture as a contested and changing medium, crossing disciplinary and generational boundaries and includes works from the eighteenth-century to the present. The display also showcases two important new acquisitions, including Anne Hardy’s immersive installation ‘Falling and Walking’ (2017) and ‘By Bread Only – For the Demise of Icons’ (1978-9) by Tony Carter (1943-2016).

In the Henry Moore Institute galleries, the two decades following World War II are revealed as extraordinarily creative ones, with influences from pop to constructivism, from dada and surrealism to abstraction animating approaches to sculpture. In Gallery 1, works made between 1945 and 1965 show new approaches to figuration and public sculpture projects, including The Unknown Political Prisoner Competition (1952) and the Festival of Britain (1951). The presence and impact of other Eastern and Central European sculptural traditions brought to Britain by émigré sculptors enrich the display, giving insight into the relationship between figuration and emigration.

In the second gallery, larger-scale sculptures are presented to demonstrate the dynamic interplay between abstract and figurative form in these years. These larger works are also accompanied by smaller works by George Fullard, E.R. Nele and Anthony Hatwell, whose extraordinary early work from the 1950s and 1960s has recently entered the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection.

The third gallery considers post-war sculpture’s close connection with modern architecture, developing concepts of construction that traverse the boundaries between sculpture and painting, and art and design.

Across the bridge in Leeds Art Gallery’s Sculpture Study Galleries, a display themed around couplets explores the poetry of dual sculptural forms from 1850 to the present, looking beyond the familiar ‘Mother and Child’ trope, both before and after Moore, to other types of partnership, doubling and togetherness, often affectionate but sometimes resonant of contestation or rivalry.

In Leeds Art Gallery’s Henry Moore Sculpture Galleries, the display reconsiders the materiality of stone, looking beyond carving and presenting it as a highly varied sculptural material. This display highlights stone sculpture’s long standing associations as a place maker, boundary marker and memory container. As well as showcasing many types of stone, the exhibition highlights other sculptural substances such as plaster, clay, bronze and resin which contrast with and sometimes impersonate stone. To show these interesting and varied lives of stone sculpture, paintings are presented alongside sculptures.

Anne Hardy’s ‘Falling and Walking’, a major new acquisition displayed in the White Room, highlights the ways in which the collection continues to grow. Anne Hardy is a former visiting research fellow at the Institute and an artist whose work has traversed the fields of photography, sculpture, architecture and installation, moving between different materials, scales and modes of viewer involvement.

In the adjacent Lyons Gallery Sculptors’ Drawings and Models, selected by Anne Hardy, showcases the rich holdings with a sample of works on paper, small sculptures and models.

The Henry Moore Institute opened its doors twenty five years ago, in 1993. It evolved from the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture within Leeds Art Gallery, which was established thanks to a partnership agreement between the Henry Moore Foundation and Leeds City Council in 1982. Henry Moore had laid the foundation stone for Leeds Art Gallery’s Sculpture Galleries in 1980, and to this day, sculpture has played a significant role in the cultural life of the city.

Concurrent exhibitions:

Anne Hardy: 'Falling and Walking'
Leeds Art Gallery's White Room, 22 March - 20 May 2018

Sculpture By Another Name: Tony Carter's 'By Bread Only' (1978-79)
Gallery 4, 21 February - 21 May 2018

This in-focus Gallery 4 exhibition features 'By Bread Only – For the Demise of Icons' (1978-79) by Tony Carter along with works on paper and related archival material. This work, which takes the form of a painter’s easel, is presented as a fascinating but little-known work within the history of the emergence of the 'New British Sculpture' in the early 1980s.

Neil Gall
The Studio: Cover Versions
Reception and Research Library, 21 February - 2 September 2018

Over the last year, Neil Gall has been creating collages using old copies of The Studio given to him by a former art teacher. He has made about 150 to date, cutting into their front covers, playing with their images and typographies and juxtaposing abstract and figurative works with his own over-drawings. This displays presents about seventy of these ‘cover versions’, all of which focus on sculpture and on copies of The Studio published in the 1940s and 1960s, relating to many of the works on display in Sculpture 1945-1965, in the main galleries. This display continues upstairs where it will be accompanied by a display about The Studio in the Research Library.

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