Siegfried Charoux's 'Maquette for The Neighbours' (1957-59)
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Lecture in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm
Melanie Veasey discusses the work of Siegfried Charoux as part of an ongoing lecture series highlighting sculptures from the Leeds Collections.
Renowned for his iconic portrayal of ‘The Islanders’ at the Festival of Britain, Austrian émigré Siegfried Charoux (1896–1967) progressed his sculpture practice during the 1950s through a series of pieces which continued his commitment to representing social cohesion and companionship.
Charoux’s ‘Maquette for The Neighbours’ was commissioned for the innovative post-war Patronage of the Arts Scheme, which sought to enhance the built environment for local residents by locating artworks in regenerated civic facilities. This simple yet nuanced sculpture of two seated figures pursued a recognisably humanistic theme yet offered a shrewd understanding of the customs and culture of Charoux’s adopted British homeland. The sculpture’s generic image of casual conversation characterised the greater political aspirations of the age as co-location, co-operation and inter-dependence for reconstructed communities.
In 1959 the full-size sculpture ‘The Neighbours’ was exhibited at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts before being installed within the Quadrant on the Highbury Estate, Islington. Listed in 1998 and renovated in 2011 Charoux’s sculpture continues to signify a universal sense of community. This presentation explores the factors that framed Charoux’s thematic concept, preparatory symbolism, contextual cultural references, and the prevailing aesthetic conflicts for twentieth-century public sculpture, which informed the reception and legacy of his work.
Melanie Veasey is currently a full time PhD candidate (Loughborough); her interest includes those sculptors working in Britain and Europe between 1900–59, specifically their practice during the dynamic inter-war and post-war periods.
This event is free of charge and open to all, but booking is advised. For more information please contact Adam Townend, our Research Programme Assistant, or book a place using the form below.
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