Barry Flanagan (Welsh, born January 11, 1941–died August 31, 2009) is best known for his compelling bronze sculptures of hares and other animals, often depicted singing, dancing, or posing in moments of anthropomorphic activity. Born in Prestatyn, North Wales, Flanagan studied at the Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London, later teaching at the St. Martin’s School of Arts and Crafts in the late 1960s. While most of Flanagan’s peers were pursuing sculptures within the reductive confines of Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Flanagan studied theater and installation art, and first sculpted works using organic materials, such as clay, sand, rope, and earth.

He later began working with bronze, which he viewed—with its dramatic manipulations of light and shadow—as an ideal expressive medium. He referenced significant experiences shaping a hare out of bronze as the inspiration for what would become his most iconic form. In addition to elephants, horses, unicorns, and other animals, Flanagan depicted his hares leaping across sculpted environments, sitting on a rock in the pose of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, or in other poses with idiosyncratic, fully human expressions and actions, ranging from boredom and loneliness to contemplation, excitement, and joy. He received many commissions of his works, and public sculptures of his hares can be found in outdoor sites in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Madrid, Dublin, Chicago, and the Japanese coast, among other locations around the world. Flanagan died in 2009, at 68 years old.

Timeline

1941
Born in Prestatyn, Wales, UK
1957–1958
Studied at Birmingham College of Art and Crafts
1964–1966
Studied at St. Martin's School of Art in London
1967–1971
Taught at St. Martin's School of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts

Exhibitions

2008
Gow Langsford Gallery Spring Catalogue Exhibition, Auckland, New Zealand
2003
Musée d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain, Nice Narborough Hall, Norfolk
2000
Tate Gallery, Liverpool
1999
Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
1998
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
‘Barry Flanagan: Sculptures and ceramics’, Galerie von Bartha, Basel
‘Barry Flanagan and Pataphysics’, Crestet Centre d’Art, Valréas
Waddington Galleries and The Economist Plaza, London
1997
Galerie Hans Mayer Düsseldorf, Germany
Centre Cultural La Tecla Sala, Barcelona
‘Barry Flanagan: Bronzes, Dibuixos i Gravats’, Edicions T Galeria D’Art, Barcelona
1996
Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
Galleria Karsten Greve, Milan
‘Barry Flanagan: Sculpture in Grant Park’, Chicago (organised by Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago in cooperation with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Park District)
1995
RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City
‘Barry Flanagan on Park Avenue’, 54th to 59th Street, New York (organised by The Avenue Association and The British Council in cooperation with Waddington Galleries, London)
1994
Pace Gallery New York, NY
Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf
Waddington Galleries, London
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
‘Barry Flanagan’, organised in collaboration with The British Council, Fundación ‘la Caixa’, Madrid; touring to Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (retrospective)
1993
Fundació
1992
Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
‘The Names of the Hare: Large bronzes by Barry Flanagan: 1983–1990’, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Galerie Eric van de Weghe, Brussels
Landau Fine Art, Montreal
1991
Fuji Television Gallery Tokyo, Japan
1990
Waddington Galleries and The Economist Plaza, London
The Pace Gallery, New York
1988
Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
‘Barry Flanagan – A Visual Invitation, Sculpture 1967–1987’, organised in collaboration with The British Council, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; touring to Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Modern Gallery, Ljubljana
1986
Tate Gallery, London (prints)
1985
Waddington Galleries London, UK
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo
1984
Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne
Waddington Graphics, London (etchings and linocuts)
1983
Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, France
‘Barry Flanagan: Recent Sculpture’, The Pace Gallery, New York
‘Barry Flanagan, Stone and Bronze Sculptures’, British Council exhibition, British Pavilion, XXXX Biennale di Venezia; touring to Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1982
Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
‘Sixties and Seventies: Prints and drawings by Barry Flanagan’, Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno, Wales; touring in collaboration with the Welsh Arts Council to Oriel Theatr Clwyd, Mold; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum, Swansea; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
1981
‘Barry Flanagan: Sculptures in bronze 1980–1981’, Waddington Galleries, London
1980
Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
‘Barry Flanagan: Sculptures in stone 1973–1979’, Waddington Galleries, London
1979
Art and Project Amsterdam, The Netherlands
‘Barry Flanagan: Sculpture 1966–1976’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; touring to Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; Serpentine Gallery, London
1977
Art and Project, Amsterdam
Hester van Royen Gallery, London
Apeldoorn Museum, Holland
1976
Centro de Arte y Comunicación Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hester van Royen Gallery, London
1974
Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool
‘Barry Flanagan: Drawing 1966–1974’, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
Galleria Dell’Ariete, Milan
1970–1974
Rowan Gallery London, UK
1971
Galleria del Leone, Venice
1969
Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
Fishbach Gallery, New York
1968
Galerie Ricke, Kassel
Galleria Dell’Ariete, Milan
Galleria Christian Stein, Turin
1966
Rowan Gallery London, UK