This new Spotlight, of works from the Arts Council Collection, will look at the group of young sculptors whose work came to prominence after the Second World War. In the post-war years a new generation of artists, including Lynn Chadwick, Reg Butler and Kenneth Armitage moved away from the purity of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth's abstract compositions and the monumentality of Moore's scultpures. Their work was characterised by spiky, twisted forms, usually of the human figure or animals. With these linear forms they introduced new ways of working with welded metals, and to a large extent they reflected some of the anxieties and fears of the post-war period.
Their work was exhibited together in a groudbreaking exhibition at the British pavilion in the 1952 Venice Biennale. The art historian Herbert Read's words have often been quoted and it was here that the phrase 'geometry of fear' was first coined: 'These new images belong to the iconography of despair, or of defiance....Here are the images of flight, or ragged claws "scuttling across the floors of silent seas", of excoriated flesh, frustrated sex, the geometry of fear.... These British sculptors have given sculpture what it never had before our time - a linear, cursive quality.'
As well as the younger sculptors, born between 1913 and 1930, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Bernard Meadows, Kenneth Armitage, John Hoskin, Robert Adams, Elizabeth Frink and Eduardo Paolozzi, this exhibition will also include some work by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. It will comprise about 17 sculptures as well as some related works on paper.
This exhibition toured to the following venues:
7 July - 27 August 2007
The Harley Gallery, Wellbeck
1 October - 17 November 2007
Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster
24 November 2007 - 6 January 2008
Burton Art Gallery, Bideford
12 January - 24 February 2008
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster
1 March - 11 April 2008
University of Northumbria Art Gallery, Newcastle
19 April - 1 June 2008
Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield
7 June - 20 July 2008
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham
26 July - 6 September 2008
Rhyl Library, Museum and Art Centre, Rhyl
13 September - 14 October 2008
Art Gallery and Museum, Plymouth
22 November - 23 December 2008
Maclaurin Gallery, Ayr
16 January -15 March 2009
Art Gallery & Museum, Leamington Spa
END OF TOUR
Top image: Lynn Chadwick The Seasons 1956. Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London.
Bottom image: Eduardo Paolozzi, Insects' Wings, 1951. Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London.