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Royal Academy Opens Exhibition that Examines British Sculpture of the 20th Century

January 24, 2011

LONDON.- The Royal Academy of Arts will be presenting the first exhibition for 30 years to examine British sculpture of the twentieth century. The show will represent a unique view of the development of British sculpture, exploring what we mean by the terms British and sculpture by bringing the two together in a chronological series of strongly themed galleries, each making its own visual argument.

File:Barbara Hepworth Single Form Battersea.JPG
Barbara Hepworth’s Single Form at Battersea Park 1961-62
Attribution: QuentinUK at en.wikipedia

The exhibition will take a fresh approach, replacing the traditional survey with a provocative set of juxtapositions that will challenge the viewer to make new connections and break the mould of old conceptions.

Key British works include: Alfred Gilbert Queen Victoria, Phillip King Genghis Khan, Jacob Epstein Adam, Barbara Hepworth Single Form, Leon Underwood Totem to the Artist, Henry Moore Festival Figure, Anthony Caro Early One Morning, Richard Long Chalk Line, Julian Opie W and Damien Hirst Let’s Eat Outdoors Today.

Through these and other works, the exhibition will examine British sculpture’s dialogue within a broader international context, highlighting the ways in which Britain’s links with its Empire, continental Europe and the United States have helped shape an art that at its best is truly international in scope and significance. The selection of works is not limited to the British Isles, but looks outward at Britain in the world including sculpture from Native American, Indian, and African traditions. These will be represented by a series of significant loans from the British Museum and the V&A, which will be shown alongside modern British sculptures from the period 1910-1930 to highlight the inquisitiveness of British artists when the Empire was at its peak and London was, almost literally, the centre of the world. The visitor will be invited to make comparisons between these pieces and consider the dramatic effect that non-western techniques, iconography and cultural sensibility had on the development of British sculpture at the beginning of the twentieth century.

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