A Rough Equivalent: Sculpture and Pottery in the Post-War Period
29 Sep 2010 – 2 Jan 2011
Exhibition in the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery
A Rough Equivalent brings together sculpture and ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s from the major collections at Leeds and York Art Galleries.
While there is little in the way of shared history between ceramics and sculpture in the mid twentieth century, this exhibition highlights a common aesthetic, particularly in the 'rough' surface treatment of artworks made at this time. It also continues the Institute’s exploration of the meaning of sculpture and its relationship with other three-dimensional art forms.
The exhibition juxtaposes work by sculptors, including Kenneth Armitage, Ralph Brown, Geoffrey Clarke, Peter King, F.E McWilliam, E.R. Nele and Eduardo Paolozzi, with that of ceramicists, including Dan Arbeid, Ian Auld, Peg Campion, Hans Coper, John Dan, Bryan Newman, Colin Pearson, Robert Sturm and Denise Wren. In doing so, it draws out some of the striking similarities in form, as well as in texture, between objects in the different media, in terms of heads, towers, jagged edges, 'cut-out' forms and distorted figuration. Roughness of texture and imperfect finish were qualities that were employed by both sculptors and ceramicists at this time, and half a century later, the works can be seen to be much more alike than was appreciated at the time.
The exhibition has been curated by Dr Jeffrey Jones, Reader in Ceramics at Cardiff School of Art and Design, UWIC. During 2009/10 he held a Research Fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, and A Rough Equivalent is an outcome of that Fellowship. He has worked closely on the exhibition with Sophie Raikes at the Henry Moore Institute and Helen Walsh at York Art Gallery. In bringing together work from these two major collections the curators have highlighted the value of collaborative work across disciplines in the visual arts, and have demonstrated that the juxtaposition of ceramics and sculpture is long overdue.