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Contemporary Art Society and Henry Moore Foundation sculpture partnership

8 March – 29 September 2019

Release date: Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Two works by Phyllida Barlow donated to Leeds Art Gallery through a new Contemporary Art Society and Henry Moore Foundation partnership to promote sculpture in Yorkshire. The works will go on display 9 March – 29 September 2019.

The Contemporary Art Society and Henry Moore Foundation have formed a new special partnership, generously supported by Cathy Wills, to donate contemporary sculpture to museums in the UK. The initial four-year scheme will support Yorkshire as the UK centre of sculpture, with The Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds Art Gallery receiving a major work by a living artist each year.

This year two works by Phyllida Barlow CBE RA have been acquired for Leeds Art Gallery and will go on display between 8 March – 29 September 2019. HOLD, 1986-89 is a glass form wrapped in canvas, then soaked in black bitumen and acquaseal rubber. It is a relatively early example of a tendency towards the use of household materials and ad-hoc processes that would emerge on a monumental scale later in her career, including through the Tate Britain commission dock in 2014, screestage (2013) shown in The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture at The Hepworth Wakefield in 2016 and folly for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

“The first partnership between the Contemporary Art Society and the Henry Moore Foundation began in 1983, when important works were acquired by Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor and David Mach. I am delighted that we are once again coordinating our resources to buy outstanding sculpture for UK collections. Phyllida Barlow is one of the most influential sculptors in Britain today and it is a real pleasure to support Leeds Art Gallery in acquiring these key works as part of their distinguished collection of sculpture.”

Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society

untitled: venicecolumns; 2016-2017, 2016-17 is a table-top version of one part of folly: a collection of models for the seven giant, stacked columns that occupied the main space in her 2017 British Pavilion commission. In this piece they are presented in the same materials – including cement, concrete, hessian scrim, pva, plywood, polyurethane foam – but at a studio scale, which recalls their origins in Barlow’s earlier and on-going making practice.

The two sculptures are the first three-dimensional works by Phyllida Barlow to enter the Leeds Museums & Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery) collection, however the gallery holds a collection of works on paper that covers a large proportion of her career from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. Barlow’s relationship with Yorkshire will also be reinforced through her role as the ‘provocateur’ for the first Yorkshire Sculpture International in 2019. The UK’s largest sculpture festival, YSI 2019 is a response to Barlow’s assertion that ‘sculpture is the most anthropological of the artforms’ and the free 100-day event will explore what it means to create sculpture today.

“The Henry Moore Foundation is delighted to be embarking on this special partnership with the Contemporary Art Society. The Society’s passion for the development of public collections of the art of our time matches well the Foundation’s commitment to the research and develop of sculpture. Within this scheme, our ambitions come together seamlessly and what better way to announce our partnership than with the acquisition of these important works by Phyllida Barlow. With its exceptional collection of sculpture, Leeds Art Gallery is a very fitting recipient.”

Godfrey Worsdale, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation

HOLD, 1986-89 and untitled: venicecolumns; 2016-2017, 2016-17 will go on display in the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, 8 March – 29 September 2019.

For more information please contact:

Marcus Crofton, Communications Manager, Contemporary Art Society
+44 (0)20 7017 8412

Rebecca Land, Head of Marketing & Communications, The Henry Moore Foundation
+44 (0)7946 510879

Notes to Editors:

About the Contemporary Art Society

The Contemporary Art Society champions the collecting of outstanding contemporary art and craft in the UK. Since 1910 the charity has donated thousands of works by living artists to museums, from Picasso, Bacon, Hepworth and Moore in their day, through to the influential artists of our times. Sitting at the heart of cultural life in the UK, the Contemporary Art Society brokers philanthropic support for the benefit of museums and their audiences across the entire country. Their work ensures that the story of art continues to be told now and for future generations.

About The Henry Moore Foundation

The Henry Moore Foundation was founded by the artist and his family in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts. Today it supports innovative sculpture projects through Henry Moore Grants, devises an imaginative programme of exhibitions and research at its two venues Henry Moore Studios & Gardens in Hertfordshire and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, as well as touring exhibitions worldwide and preserving the legacy of Moore himself: one of the great sculptors of the 20th century who did so much to bring the art form to a wider audience.

About Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery offers dynamic temporary exhibitions and a world-class collection of modern British art. Founded in 1888, the gallery has designated collections of 19th and 20th century British art widely considered to be the best outside the national collections. The collection represents the development of English modernism shown through key works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein. Leeds Art Gallery through a partnership with the Henry Moore Institute, has built one of the strongest collections of British sculpture in the country and confirmed Leeds’s status as an international centre for the study and appreciation of sculpture. The Leeds Sculpture Collection comprises over 1,000 objects, 400 works on paper and the Henry Moore Institute Archive of over 270 collections of papers relating to sculptors.

About The Hepworth Wakefield

Designed by the acclaimed David Chipperfield Architects, The Hepworth Wakefield is set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront, overlooking the River Calder. The gallery opened in May 2011 and was awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017. Named after Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important artists of the 20th century who was born and brought up in Wakefield, the gallery presents major exhibitions of the best international modern and contemporary art. It is also home to Wakefield’s art collection – an impressive compendium of modern British and contemporary art – and has dedicated galleries exploring Hepworth’s art and working process. In summer 2019, The Hepworth Wakefield Garden will open alongside the gallery. Designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, it will feature sculptures and be one of the largest free public gardens in the UK.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Research Library: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment

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