Shallow Space - Relief Sculpture from the Collection
7 May – 7 August 2005
Exhibition in the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery
Shallow Space presents classic examples of relief modelling and carving by Frampton, Moore and Gaudier-Brzeska, constructions in both the surrealist and the constructivist modes, as well as quirkier anomalies, such as reliefs made from nails, glove stretchers and the moving paper circles designed by Duchamp.
Reliefs were used for functional purposes such as tombstones, medals and building facades, and the display includes examples of a child's grave, a medal of Karl Marx, and a façade for London’s South Bank. 'Shallow space' also encouraged the surrealist juxtaposition of incongruous objects as seen in Paul Nash's small semi-theatrical scenes.
Narrative episodes, such as Ghisha Koenig's delicate portrayal of women workers in a paper factory, are ideally suited to relief. It is also well suited to the optical, kinetic and mathematical compositions much beloved of artists in the post-war years.
Shallow Space displays work held in the Leeds Collections and shows alongside an exhibition of new wall-works by the Italian artist Ettore Spalletti. It is accompanied by a discursive essay, Shallow Space: Modernism’s Civilising Norm, which examines shallowness and depth from the standpoints of Cubism, English modernism and American high abstraction.
This display has been curated by Brandon Taylor, Professor of History of Art at the University of Southampton. His research interests include Contemporary and Modern Art, East European Art and the History of Art Institutions. He has lectured in the United States and Europe and has held research positions at Yale University and the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Taylor's writing and selection derive from his recent research on collage, published by Thames & Hudson as Collage: The Making of Modern Art. This autumn Ashgate publish Sculpture and Psychoanalysis, edited by Taylor in association with the Henry Moore Institute.