Photographing Sculpture: How the Image Moves the Object

20 Mar 2014 – 21 Jun 2014

Henry Moore Institute

Leeds, United Kingdom


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Photography has made sculpture mobile since the birth of the medium. Presenting vintage prints from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century, Photographing Sculpture looks at the ways in which photographs 'move' objects, whether activating them visually, transporting them by proxy or documenting their travels across space and time. The selection is drawn entirely from the Henry Moore Institute Archive, a part of the sculpture collections of Leeds Museums and Galleries, which are developed in a unique partnership with the Henry Moore Institute. Some photographs in the exhibition chart the physical movement of objects, showing monumental statues on their journey from the studio to the pedestal, installations in various configurations and performance pieces in progress, as body and object are repositioned over a period of time. Others create the illusion of movement, by presenting a work from all angles or by staging it to emphasise a dynamic arrangement or to bring a figurative work to life. Groups and pairs of photographs record the same sculpture in different locations and contrasting environments. In some cases they might represent a deliberate experiment by the artist, in others a later gathering together of images that record a work's history, potentially charting its progress from studio to foundry to diverse sites of display and storage. The exhibition includes informal snaps taken by artists or technicians that record fleeting and private moments in the life of the work. It also displays many carefully choreographed studio and gallery shots, which were intended specifically for publication and exhibition and have allowed the objects represented to be disseminated all over the world.

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