Writing for a special issue of Art in America in 1982, the same year that the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture opened, the young art historian Michael Newman published a piece on 'New British Sculpture'. This would go on to help launch a generation of artists onto the North American art scene, including Kate Blacker, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Alison Wilding and Bill Woodrow.
This issue of Essays on Sculpture reproduces this important article, attempting to reconsider our understanding of the early 1980s art movement in Britain. Looking back on this decade recently, on the occasion of the Arts Council Collection touring exhibition Making It: Sculpture in Britain 1977-1986, Newman wrote:
“...there was a shared, practical, hands-on relation to making and a fascination with things - thinking through doing. At a time like now, when our relation to objects is changing so rapidly and the actual and virtual worlds - both 'real' - blur into each other, it is a good time to think about that again.”
In this issue
With an introduction by Jon Wood (Head of Research, the Henry Moore Institute), New Sculpture in Britain reprints the seminal 1982 essay of the same name by Michael Newman (Professor of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London), accompanied by photographs of works that were illustrated at the time, and a list of works held in the Leeds Collections that are referenced in the essay.
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