The Third Campaign: A Project by Neal White

8 January – 27 March 2005

Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery

In a conceptual campaign designed to re-ignite debate over Jacob Epstein’s sculptural scheme on the British Medical Association building in London’s Strand, White challenged the viewer to re-evaluate their response to public sculpture.

In 1908, Jacob Epstein’s suite of allegorical carvings on the British Medical Association building was unveiled to great public outcry. The Evening Standard led the charge that the sculptures were ‘extremely offensive’. The clients defended their chosen sculptor, but in 1937, the new owners of the building, the government of Southern Rhodesia, took drastic action after loose stonework fell on a passer-by. Mutilating all the figures, discarding their heads and limbs, they effectively destroyed the scheme as a whole. Any understanding of Epstein’s original sculptures must now be located in the archive, where only the photographs survive.

Invited by the Henry Moore Institute to come into the archive and study the phenomenon of architectural sculpture, White developed his own response to the 1908 and 1937 ‘campaigns’. Fired up by the particular - and unusual - history of Epstein’s scheme, White’s third campaign is one artist’s response to another, but is also an enquiry into the role of the passer-by, the audience for public sculpture.

As an exhibition The Third Campaign comprised resources from the archive of the Henry Moore Institute along with a new film by Neal White of the contested site itself. As a ‘campaign’ however, the project had wider ramifications, asking those involved to consider their response and responsibilities towards the history of this troubled work.

Venue details


Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
Leeds
LS1 3AH
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Open 7 days a week, except Bank Holidays, from 11am to 5.30pm and until 8pm on Wednesdays.
Galleries are closed on Mondays.

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