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Research fellowships

Marc Treib

University of California, Berkeley

  • Defining A Sculptured Outdoors: The Landscapes of Isamu Noguchi

With a practice that spanned from objects to landscapes, Isamu Noguchi argued that, at root, sculpture created space; the medium and dimensions were only variants in that basic quest. For Noguchi, no contradiction existed between a work displayed in space, and a space which constituted the work.

Marc Treib plans to pursue the "missing link" between the object-sculpture and the sculptured-space, attempting to determine the relation from object-sculpture, to site-specific sculpture, to sculpture-landscape. Any classification and understanding of Noguchi's project will necessarily distinguish the sculpture-landscape from land art, in which category Noguchi landscapes such as the California Scenario do not fit comfortably. Despite their size, power, and appropriateness to their remote sites, much land art nevertheless remains an object removed from the city. In contrast, Noguchi's landscapes tended to be urban or suburban and destined for almost daily occupation. These differences in location and purpose make the evaluation of such works problematic, and seeking a structure for linking Noguchi's sculptures with the inhabited spatial works quite challenging. Positioning works such as these - and by no means has Noguchi been the only artist to create places and public spaces - is not easy, as their intentions and functions are composite rather than singular. They constitute a distinct category in which the place is entirely of the artist's own making.

Professor Ileana Pintilie

Paul Neagu, 'Nine Catalytic Stations' (1991, drawing)

Professor Ileana Pintilie

West University, Timișoara

  • Paul Neagu: From Tactile Object to Catalytic Sculpture

Ileana Pintilie's research focuses on Paul Neagu (1938-2004), a Romanian-born British artist, with special emphasis on the evolution from the concept of 'palpable art' and the tactile object, to 'catalytic' sculpture, from the organic object, the expression of a manufacturing tradition, to the monumental language of sculpture.

Educated in Bucharest, when the official Romanian art was imbued with ideology, Neagu was in search of other cultural benchmarks, seeking inspiration in archaic artistic traditions, in folk art. He was the member of a generation of artists who felt compelled to renounce the communist past and find their own, new way towards the freedom of expression. At the same time, he applied several ideas, which led him to the concept of generative art. All these experiments, numerous installations and performances gave birth to the first sculpture in the 'Hyphen' series. With this sculpture, which he considered a generator of vital artistic force, a whole system of objects was created, claiming more and more space.

Art historian and art critic, Professor at the West University, Faculty of Fine Arts in Timișoara, freelance curator Ileana Pintilie has curated many one-person and group exhibitions in Romania and abroad, and published widely on modern and contemporary art.

Melissa Appleton

Artist / Lecturer, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford

  • Jeff Nuttall: Quite Suddenly Your Smile is an Architecture

Melissa Appleton works with constructed environments, moving image, performance and sound, investigating how the interaction and alignment of these elements can produce an extended form of sculpture. Appleton will expand her research into the work of late artist Jeff Nuttall, mining Nuttall's texts - such as his mimeographed series My Own Mag: a Super-Absorbent Periodical, described in Bomb Culture as a 'paper exhibition in words, pages, spaces, holes, edges, and images' - for sculptural qualities. The research will inform a sculptural environment and publication for a forthcoming exhibition and Appleton will also host a series of reading groups at the Institute, bringing together contemporaries of Nuttall with researchers and artists currently engaged with his work.

Holly Corfield Carr

University of Cambridge

  • Depth of Field: Towards a Sculptural Poetics

Holly Corfield Carr will be conducting research into the writing practices of sculptors working with text in Britain after 1960. Her work will pay particular attention to both the sculptural and poetic outputs of Brian Catling, whose papers are held in the HMI archives, and to the site-specific narratives in the work of Katrina Palmer, whose show The Necropolitan Line opened at the HMI in December 2015. Proposing a shared idiom between sculptors' writings and a contemporary turn towards situated poetries, this interdisciplinary project seeks to develop a series of models of attention appropriate for reading a sculptor's novel or a poet's sundial.

Ruth Ezra

Harvard University

  • Eliding Sculpture and Plane in German Renaissance Art

Ruth Ezra will use the Henry Moore Institute's resources to deepen her ongoing study of late-Gothic German sculpture. Her dissertation focusses on how the pre-Reformation relief, caught between two and three dimensions, acted as an expressive medium for the confrontation of old (sculptural) and new (pictorial) approaches to representation. At the Institute, she will research examples of 'additive' relief on Schnitzaltar wings, attending specifically to interactions between projected and illusory architecture. Access to the Leeds Art Gallery will allow her to explore transhistorical connections between the affixed Kleinarchitektur of late-Gothic altarpiece wings and the assemblages of 20th-century British artists such as Nash, Earnshaw, and Thubron.

Dr Tim Stott

Lecturer in Art History and Theory, Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology

  • Play: Imagined and Practiced in British Art Education in the 1960s and 70's

Tim Stott's research project at the Henry Moore Institute will study how the role assigned to play and games in two Environmental Art courses designed and coordinated by Simon Nicholson, first the Design 12 course at University of California (Davis) from 1966 to 1971, then the TAD292 Art and Environment course at Open University from 1976 to 1985, correlated with the pedagogical practices of the Basic Design movement, as exemplified by the Basic Course at Leeds College of Art established in 1956. This inquiry forms part of a larger book project which studies how a constructive, systematic and participatory mode of play came to align with an expanded field of sculptural production in British art of the sixties and seventies. Of particular interest to him is how ludic forms of sculptural practice came to be imagined as an ideal means to engage with an increasingly cybernetic and systems-oriented culture .

Jay Curley

Wake Forest University, North Carolina

  • Hybrid Objects: Post-war British Sculpture between America and Europe

Jay Curley's book proposes a new model for understanding post-war British sculpture, arguing for a model that accounts for its simultaneous independence from and interdependence on European and American models. Whether Anthony Caro and British Pop sculptors working between Britain and America or Barry Flanagan and Tony Cragg between Britain and Europe, Curley's project will conceptualise the interstitial position of post-war British artists. Such a condition allows them to play in the field of post-war modernism, liberating and adapting its forms for specifically British needs.

Paul Brobbel

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth, New Zealand

  • Len Lye and Modern Sculpture

Paul Brobbel will research Modern European sculpture in relation to the work of the New Zealand-born American filmmaker and sculptor Len Lye (1901-80). Particular focus will be given to the artist's reception of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Constantin Brâncuși during his formative years living in New Zealand and Australia and his subsequent membership of the Seven & Five Society between 1928 and 1934.

Diana Campbell Betancourt

Samdani Art Foundation / Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh

  • A history of sculpture parks

Diana Betancourt will study the history of sculpture parks and look into the proposal process for commissions within these sites. Betancourt is interested in failed proposals, especially those of female artists who historically may have been overlooked or dismissed based on their gender. In contemporary sculpture parks, there is a movement of recreating works posthumously, even works that were never realised within the lifetime of the artist. What are the ethics of bringing a sculpture to life after an artist's death? This research will inform the development of Fatehpur, Bangladesh's first public sculpture park.

Rosemary Shirley

Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Quick Perspectives on the Future: Rural Modernity and British Sculpture 1930s-1960s

Rosemary Shirley will investigate the relationship between British Sculpture of the 1930s-1960s and aspects of rural modernity during this period. Specifically she is interested in the visual correspondences between dramatic interventions in the rural landscape at this time, such as the installation of electricity pylons, radio and television transmitters and the accompanying 'wirescape', and sculptural practices such as the use of networks of string to describe space and volume and steel lattice constructed forms. This interdisciplinary project will offer alternative ways of thinking the relationship between sculpture and landscape, while at the same time generating different perspectives on aspects of rural modernity.

Dr Jo Melvin

Chelsea College of Arts

  • Christine Kozlov: Information

Dr Jo Melvin will be working with the Institute on our winter 2015 exhibition Christine Kozlov: Information. Christine Kozlov (1945–2005) questioned how objects are used to communicate information. This first posthumous presentation considers information as sculptural material through artworks and archival material. Using films, tapes, photographs and texts Kozlov examined the limits of documentation. Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art Dr Melvin will be conducting, with Pavel S. Pyś our Exhibitions and Displays Curator, a series of interviews with artists who came in contact with Kozlov.

This research will lead to a text published in issue 74 of our journal Essays on Sculpture that is dedicated to Kozlov, and a lecture during the exhibition.

Dr Dawn Pereira

Artist, Teacher and Writer

  • Sold, Stolen, Lost, Listed, Renewed or Rediscovered; the journeys of the London County Council 'Patronage of the Arts Scheme' artworks (1957-1965)

In the wake of the controversy late in 2012, regarding Tower Hamlets Council plan to sell the Henry Moore sculpture 'Draped Seated Woman' originally acquired in 1962, there is an increased interest in learning more about the London County Council's (LCC) commitment to placing art in the regenerated heart of post-war London and why artists were so keen to take part in this process too. Dawn Pereira wishes to use her Henry Moore fellowship to further her research into the artists commissioned by the LCC's Patronage of the Arts Scheme' that have papers, drawings and photographs within the Institute's archives; this includes Austin Wright, A H Gerrard, Franta Belsky and the newly acquired collections of Trevor Tennant and Dorothy Annan. Also of relevance are a number of artworks held within the Leeds Art Gallery Collection by LCC artists.  Dawn is keen to explore how the 'survivors' have continued their journeys as pieces of public art and how their particular guardians have handled this responsibility.

The story of artists being commissioned or employed to create sculptures and murals for LCC housing estates, schools, highways and homes for the elderly formed the focus of Dawn's PhD thesis entitled 'Art for the "Common Man"; the Role of the Artist within the London County Council (1957-1965)' which was completed in 2009.

Dr Edward Vazquez

Middlebury College, Vermont

  • Aspects: Fred Sandback's Sculpture

Edward Vazquez will be completing a study of the work of the American artist Fred Sandback (1943­2003), whose sculptural constructions made from lengths of yarn rest between the concrete objecthood of minimal art and the material slightness of conceptualism. His book project is the first complete study of Sandback¹s work, and approaches Sandback¹s practice as a radical mixture of observation and measured physical intervention that not only unsettles traditional understandings of sculptural presence but also stages an ethics of interaction between viewer and object. Arguing that Sandback¹s practice reorients our understanding of sculptural materiality, Vazquez posits Sandback¹s work as a ghostlike, spectral presence that operates historically and critically to recast the terms of sculptural experience and material presence in creating physical situations that model a way of being in the world.  While in residence at the HMI, Vazquez will focus in particular on Sandback¹s little seen relief sculptures, which the artist began making in the middle 1990s.

Edward Vazquez is an assistant professor of modern and contemporary art at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA, where he has taught since the fall of 2009. He received a PhD in Art and Art History from Stanford University, also in 2009. His writing on Fred Sandback has been published in Art Journal and is forthcoming in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics.

Dr Jane Thomas

University of Hull

  • Thomas Hardy and the New Sculpture

Thomas Hardy timed his arrival in London on 17th April 1872 to coincide with the opening of the London International Exhibition which included Thomas Woolner's half-size, plaster statuette 'Love'. Hardy met, corresponded with and was a frequent visitor to the studios of Woolner, Frederic Leighton and Hamo Thornycroft, and it was his great friend Edmund Gosse who coined the term the 'New Sculpture' to describe their work in the Art Journal in 1894. His last novel, The Well-Beloved (1892/96), describes the romantic, sexual and artistic frustration of a sculptor searching for the ideal of feminine beauty in his life and in his art. Hardy claimed that the plot was suggested by Woolner's remark that he had 'often pursued a beautiful ear, nose, chin, &c, about London in omnibuses and on foot'.   This struggle to imbue sculptures with 'the informing spirit' echoes the move towards a new dynamism and vibrancy in the work of the New Sculptors from the late 1870s onward. Using the Ford and Gunnis archives, the papers of Thornycroft,  Woolner and Bayes, this interdisciplinary project will explore new biographical and aesthetic links between Hardy and the practitioners of the 'New Sculpture' in an attempt to identify elements common to their artistic practice.

Dr Jane Thomas is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Hull. She specialises in the work of Thomas Hardy and late Victorian literature and art. Her publications include two monographs on Hardy; new annotated editions of Hardy's The Well-Beloved and two volumes of his shorter fiction.

Will Holder

Independent, London

  • The Premises of Constructivist Objects

Typographer Will Holder will be conducting research into the premises of constructivist objects, following the writings of Boris Arvatov and a legacy through the work of later 20th-century artists such as Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica. Holder will be looking for uses and readings of objects that might inform a contemporary understanding of humans as language-producing commodities. This research will naturally acknowledge concrete poetry but also be an attempt to find an 'everyday' (Arvatov) space beyond concrete poetry's theoretical premises - with forms of linguistic exchange that are more made, more thing-like, on and off the page.

Will Holder once read that oral tradition would lead us out of the post-modern condition, and has since become preoccupied with "publishing". The publications do not always take the form of ink and paper, and a large part of the preoccupation is spent in finding suitable 'forms' for transmission.

In May 2009, Holder curated "Talk Show" at the ICA, an exhibition and season of events concerning speech and accountability. He is editor of F.R.DAVID, a journal concerned with reading and writing in the arts, published by de Appel, Amsterdam. Together with Alex Waterman, Holder is currently editing and designing a biography of American composer Robert Ashley, for two or more voices (New Documents, Vancouver, 2013).

Krysten Cunningham

  • Tales of the 4th Dimension

Work in progress '3 to 4' is a short film in which five dancers and a sculpture journey through the desert as they pass from the third dimension into the fourth. Shot on location in the California desert, where there is precedence for outlandish scientific hypothesis, the purpose of ’3 to 4’ is to integrate human movement, color, object and landscape into the definition of 4 dimensional space.

Chiara Teolato

  • Sculpture and the Taste for the Antique in Yorkshire Country Houses (1750-1850)

This research project focused on the dissemination of small decorative bronzes from the antique in Yorkshire country houses. Serially produced by sculptors working in Rome, they were acquired on the spot as souvenirs by contemporary Grand Tour travellers. Through their prominent placement in the manor houses of Britain they had a lasting and heavily classicising impact on the development of the country's furniture and interior decoration. Chiara is currently studying roman bronzes in London and Country Houses in the South of England.

Jyrki Siukonen

  • Sculptors and Philosophy of Tools

"I am an artist and researcher who studies how 20th-century sculptors went about their manual studio work and use of tools, I will study the Institute’s collections and look for supporting evidence for Heidegger’s notion that use of tools constitutes a particular way of seeing."

Wouter Davidts

  • Larger than the Body: Claes Oldenburg and the Problem of Scale

Claes Oldenburg is one of the post-war artists who has most consistently used size inflation as a vital sculptural strategy. During his fellowship, Davidts purported a retroactive analysis of the work of this emblematic artist. This project fits within a broader research to critically rearticulate and recalibrate the prevailing notions of size and scale in contemporary sculpture and architecture. Results of the research will serve as the basis for a future exhibition on the work of Oldenburg, provisionally entitled Object-Body-Building.

Kerstin Mey

Chair of Fine Art, University of Belfast

  • 'Duel': Tracey Mackenna and Karla Sachse

Exploring her interest in artistic identities, Kerstin Mey brought together artists Mackenna and Sachse to make an exhibition on-site in the Institute’s Gallery 4, and published her account of this ‘arranged encounter’ in the essay Duel (Essay 12).

David Ward

Artist, Wiltshire

  • Rodin, 'The Age of Bronze'

Rodin’s 'Age of Bronze' had only recently arrived in Leeds when David Ward applied to study its particular history and its remarkable patina. Using performance, film and photography, Ward’s research culminated in a beautiful book entitled Casting the Die.

Elisabeth Rosser

Sculptor, London

  • The Ugly Edge

Galvanised by her encounter with William Tucker, Rosser applied for a fellowship to pursue the question of how to talk and write about sculpture that looks lumpen and unshaped, and why sculpture which involved modelling and touch had increasingly been undervalued.

Sighle Breathnach-Lynch

Curator of Irish Paintings, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

  • The Representation of Workers in the Hamo Thornycroft Archive

Having worked on public monuments in the context of Irish nationalism, Breathnach-Lynch wished to test her findings against the ‘mainland’ context of commemorative statuary as documented in our archive (and in particular that of Hamo Thornycroft), in other local repositories and by English scholars.

Dr Elisa Foster

Henry Moore Institute

  • Painted Black: Inventing the Black Madonna in Pre-Modern Europe

Elisa Foster is currently researching a publication on the ‘Black Madonna' in European art from c. 1200-1700 - the term referring to the depiction of the Virgin Mary with dark-coloured skin. Provisionally titled Painted Black: Inventing the Black Madonna in Pre-Modern Europe, her book will be an important contribution to scholarship on both Black Madonnas and questions of pre-modern race and colour.

This book sets out to consider the medieval and early modern contexts of Black Madonna statues through careful examination of the changing functions and visual representations of key examples in Western Europe. Her project considers the multiple interpretations of blackness that co-existed in pre-modern Europe and the responses from various audiences, including clergy, pilgrims and iconoclasts. Many of these sculptures are re-painted or are no longer extant, and Dr Foster's research provides a methodology for art historians to explore the ephemeral aspects of visual culture linked to these sculptures.

Dr Foster's research on this subject has been published in Studies in Iconography 37 (2016) and Envisioning Others: Race, Color and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America, ed. Pamela A. Patton, Brill (2015). She is currently co-editing a collection of essays titled Medieval Devotion in Britain and Its Afterlives, forthcoming in 2017. Her research in Yorkshire expands her interest in destroyed objects and iconoclasm, focusing specifically on the shrine of Corpus Christi in York.

Dr Kate Sloan

University of Edinburgh

  • Radical Pedagogies in Post-War British Art

Kate Sloan's project will investigate radical visual arts pedagogies in the post-war era in Britain. She will be examining the instrumental presence of system, cybernetic and network theories in the art school and also exploring the highly conceptual use of sculptural objects within the curriculum. The project will culminate in the production of a book about 'Groundcourse', Roy Ascott's innovative foundation course at Ealing and Ipswich in which students created devices, machines and games which were intended to modify their interactions with different environments and situations. This course, with its exploration of wartime environments and its revolutionary approaches to fine art education was one of the most experimental teaching models of the twentieth century.

In addition, the project will produce a number of articles reassessing the Basic Design movement in art education at Durham and Leeds in a post-war context. Using hitherto unpublished student works of art as well as original interview material with staff and students, these articles will offer exciting new insights into both the teaching and working practices of several British artists, including Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Tom Hudson and Harry Thubron. With regards to both Groundcourse and Basic Design, the pedagogical models offer fascinating insights into the creative ideologies of the day – a post-war world changed irrevocably by a new age of technology.

Dr Jessica Barker

The Courtauld Institute of Art

  • Experiencing Tomb Sculpture in Medieval Europe

Funerary monuments are essential to our understanding of sculpture in the medieval period. Tomb monuments were a form of sculpture in which broad sections of medieval society participated, whether through commissioning a memorial, being depicted on one, or seeing tombs in their local church. Studies of medieval monuments have tended to focus on the process of creation, examining issues of patronage, manufacture and dating.

This project seeks to understand and characterise tomb sculpture from a different perspective: the interaction between the monument and the viewer. Exploring issues such as visibility, time, emotion and sound, Jessica Barker will consider the ways in which funerary sculpture sought to condition particular responses from the viewer. Her project will also examine images of medieval tomb sculpture (drawings, engravings, photographs and digital models) from c. 1700 to the present day, considering how these reproductions affect our perception and experience of the memorials themselves.

Kirsi Peltomäki

Oregon State University

  • Post-war Modernism, Experience, and Individuation: Anthony Caro and the New Generation

British sculpture in the 1960s, in particular the work of Anthony Caro, was associated with the post-war Modernism formulated by critics Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried. Yet the critical debates around the work of Caro and the New Generation sculptors also levied pressure on the Greenbergian paradigm by foregrounding the experiential dimension of viewing encounters, demonstrating how critical and artistic investments in the Modernist art object became entangled with new ideas about the individual as well as perception, materiality, narrative, and experience. Peltomäki's research project seeks to understand how these notions of experientiality related to local context, and to analyse how models of experientiality and individuation were configured into both canonical and vernacular art criticism.