Sunday, 30 January 2011

Modern British Sculpture

On Saturday I visited the new exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Modern British Sculpture. Whenever, I go to an exhibition of sculpture, I'm never quite sure what to expect, and though I go with an open attitude, I tend not to be excited. By now I ought to have learned because I don't think I've yet been disappointed, and I've been thoroughly wowed by Anthony Gormley, and Anish Kapoor, to name but two.

Overall, it was really good, but it started better than it ended for me. If one of art's purposes is to provoke, Damien Hirst's, Let's Eat Outdoors Today, certainly did that with its repugnant and repellant display of decaying food on a barbecue, and a picnic table, surrounded by real flies, masses of them. I'm glad to say that it's contained within a sealed glass box! Hirst explains 'how we all avoid dirt, but ultimately go back into dirt', and his interest in how we try 'to isolate the horror from our lives and remove it'.

The high points for me were Jacob Epstein's Adam, Henry Moore's Reclining Figure, and Barbara Hepworth's Single Form (Memorial). I thought this last piece, which normally resides in Battersea Park, was mesmerising, and will abide with me for some time.

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