United Enemies

1 Dec 2011 – 11 Mar 2012

Galleries 1, 2 and 3

United Enemies examines the problem of sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s, presenting work by over fifty artists made in a period when the very idea of sculpture was radically contested.

Cutting across practices, institutions, publications and exhibitions, the display begins with Roelof Louw’s (b. 1936) 'Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)' (1967): a work containing over 6,000 oranges painstakingly composed in order to be physically participated in and enjoyed – the pyramid depletes as visitors help themselves to oranges.

Organised around three provocations – ‘Manual Thinking’, ‘Standing’ and ‘Groundwork’ – United Enemies demonstrates how this highly fertile and experimental period formed the ground from which contemporary sculpture has grown.

“Edible pyramids, rural walks, posing pop stars: how British sculpture went wild in the 1960s.”

Financial Times


From Keith Arnatt’s 'Art as an Act of Retraction' (1972) showing the artist eating each of the words of the sentence 'Eleven portraits of the artist about to eat his own words', to McLean's photographic work 'People Who Make Art in Glass Houses' (1969) where the artist is pictured surrounded by the debris of his own work, through to the photographic album 'An English Frontier' (1972) documenting a walk conducted by Richard Long in the company of Tony Cragg, Roger Ackling, Jim Rogers and Bill Woodrow, this exhibition captures the spirit of rebellion that motivated sculptors in the 1960s and 70s.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
74 The Headrow
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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