Siegfried Charoux's Maquette for 'The Neighbours' (1957-59)

Melanie Veasey discusses the work of Siegfried Charoux as part of an ongoing lecture series highlighting sculptures from the Leeds Collections. Currently on display in Gallery 4 is a focused exhibition dedicated to Ghisha Koenig (1921-93), who worked with Charoux.

Renowned for his iconic portrayal of ‘The Islanders’ at the Festival of Britain, Austrian émigré Siegfried Charoux (1896-1967) progressed his sculpture practice during the 1950s through a series of pieces that continued his commitment to representing social cohesion and companionship. Charoux’s Maquette for ‘The Neighbours’ was commissioned for the innovative post-war Patronage of the Arts Scheme, which sought to enhance the built environment for local residents by locating artworks in regenerated civic facilities. This simple sculpture of two seated figures pursued a recognisably humanistic theme, yet offered a shrewd understanding of the customs and culture of Charoux’s adopted British homeland.

In 1959 the full-size sculpture ‘The Neighbours’ was exhibited at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts before being installed within the Quadrant on Highbury Estate, Islington. Listed in 1998 and renovated in 2011, Charoux’s sculpture continues to signify a universal sense of community. In this lecture, Melanie Veasey explores the factors that framed Charoux’s thematic concept, preparatory symbolism, contextual cultural references, and the prevailing aesthetic conflicts for twentieth-century public sculpture, which informed the reception and legacy of his work.

Melanie Veasey is currently a full time PhD candidate (Loughborough University), with her research looking to sculptors working in Britain and Europe between the dynamic inter-war and post-war periods.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

In response to the government's current Covid-19 guidelines, the Henry Moore Institute is temporarily closed until further notice.