Celebrating a thirty-six year partnership that has built one of the strongest collections of British sculpture in the world, this exhibition showcases the best of the Leeds Sculpture Collections.
The Sculpture Collections joins the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery in one of our most expansive and ambitious displays to date. Henry Moore had laid the foundation stone for Leeds Art Gallery’s Sculpture Galleries in 1980, and to this day, sculpture has played a significant role in the cultural life of the city.
With over 125 sculptures and 75 framed works spanning fourteen exhibition spaces, The Sculpture Collections shows sculpture as a contested and changing medium, in dialogue with painting, drawing, architecture and its own historical moment. It includes works from the eighteenth century to the present day.
The Institute’s galleries take a focused look at post-war sculpture in the years 1945-1965, a highly creative period when sculpture was animated by a variety of cultural ideas, from pop to constructivism, surrealism and abstraction.
In Gallery 1, works made between 1945 and 1965 show new approaches to figuration and public sculpture projects. The presence and impact of other Eastern and Central European sculptural traditions brought to Britain by émigré sculptors enrich the display, giving insight into the relationship between figuration and emigration.
Larger-scale sculptures are presented in Gallery 2 to demonstrate the dynamic interplay between abstract and figurative form in these years. These works are also accompanied by smaller pieces by George Fullard, E.R. Nele and Anthony Hatwell, whose extraordinary early work from the 1950s and 1960s has recently entered the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection.
Gallery 3 considers post-war sculpture’s close connection with modern architecture, developing concepts of construction that traverse the boundaries between sculpture and painting, and art and design, attempting the integration of art forms.
In Leeds Art Gallery, displays include Rock, Pebble, Quarry: The Sculptural Lives of Stone, which looks at its materiality in relation to place and purpose, and Couplets: The Dualities of Sculpture, which explores the poetry of dual forms from 1850 to the present.
The Sculpture Collections also feature two important new acquisitions for our collections: ‘Falling and Walking’ (2016), an immersive installation by contemporary artist Anne Hardy, and ‘By Bread Only – For the Demise of Icons’ (1978-9) by Tony Carter (1943-2016).