This new touring exhibition challenges the male-dominated narratives of post-war British sculpture by presenting a diverse and significant range of ambitious work by women. In 1947, the Arts Council Collection invested in its first work by a sculptor, purchasing Barbara Hepworth’s seminal hospital drawing, Reconstruction. Since then, the Collection has acquired over 250 sculptures and installations by more than 150 women, supporting an impressive range of practices across 75 years. Through an investigation of these important holdings, Breaking the Mould proposes a radical recalibration – a riposte to the many accounts of British sculpture that have marginalised women or airbrushed their work from the story altogether.
Breaking the Mould represents the work of over fifty sculptors including Rana Begum, Lygia Clark, Cathy de Monchaux, Elisabeth Frink, Anthea Hamilton, Holly Hendry, Barbara Hepworth, Mary Kelly, Kim Lim, Cornelia Parker, Eva Rothschild, Veronica Ryan and Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition also features recent sculptures by Katie Cuddon, Jessie Flood-Paddock and Grace Schwindt, on public display for the first time since acquisition.
Breaking the Mould is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication produced by Hayward Publishing, featuring fresh writing on the subject by Natalie Rudd, Senior Curator of the Arts Council Collection, and a range of artists, curators and scholars. The exhibition is also supported by resources and activities for everyone and a series of engaging events.
After the first presentation at Longside Gallery, the exhibition will tour to New Art Gallery Walsall, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.
Breaking the Mould is an Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition initiated in response to Women Working in Sculpture from 1960 to the Present Day: Towards a New Lexicon, a research project led by Catherine George (University of Coventry) and Hilary Gresty (independent).