In recognition of and complimentary to the Royal Academy’s forthcoming sculpture survey, Connaught Brown will explore a major trajectory in modern British art. The exhibition concentrates on the reciprocal dialogue between the landscape and sculptural object, and is the first to consider how organic imagery has been used by British sculptors to interrogate the inherent structure and materiality of their work.
The show will represent key works by Hepworth, Moore and Butler alongside the leading protagonists of “New British Sculpture” Cragg and Allington. In addition the gallery is delighted to announce the inclusion of a seminal sculpture by Rachel Whiteread, as well as an exciting new work by Daniel Silver.
At the heart of this study is a very British preoccupation with the landscape and the transcendental power of found objects. From talismanic bronzes dating from the 1950s inspired by pebbles and bones to the appropriation of readymade wood carving, British sculptors have accessed the natural world through inanimate items. In turn the landscape has continued to give rise to a primitive formal language that is intrinsically associated with all living things.
The reoccurrence of primordial imagery will be traced forward in the exhibition’s two contemporary pieces. Drawing upon his 2007 installation Heads at the Camden Arts Centre, Daniel Silver’s immensely visceral work acts like the relic of a prehistoric skull. Meanwhile Rachel Whiteread’s sculpture Wafer comes from her highly acclaimed wall mounted series from 2008. Using natural resin, plaster and wood to articulate the negative space contained by objects, the piece evokes the ancient layering of sediment and magma.
During a period spanning over sixty years the selected artists have successively redefined the sculptural object. This exhibition will map their continuing engagement with the landscape to shed new light upon this fascinating development in British sculpture.