AboutTo accompany The Developing Process exhibition the Henry Moore Institute has staged a series of Wednesday talks in October/November which address the changing ways that sculpture has been taught in Britain from the late 19th into the late 20th century. Each talk has looked at key moments when the teaching of sculpture acquired a particular confidence or underwent a major rethinking.
Richard Wentworth is a chronicler of daily life. Since the 1970s he has played a leading role in British sculpture, isolating both the formal and sculptural qualities of everyday objects. His enormous archive of photographs, âMaking Do and Getting By' (1974 onwards), captures the provisional ways in which people modify the world they inhabit. It suggests an infinite syntax of adjustment, modification and appropriation. The neuro scientist Mark Lythgoe has suggested that the private smile which spectators experience when looking at Wentworth's work is associated with a deep human capacity to associate the inventive and creative with an internalized highway code for survival. Wentworth looks closely at the present by espousing the past. Looking back enables us to understand why and how we move forward. By excavating history and looking closely at the material ânow', Wentworth collates and assembles a vivacious archaeology of the world we live in. He reveals that which is curious, ironic, poetic and slight amidst the clutter of daily living.
Wentworth has recently exhibited in Making Worlds at the Venice Biennale (2009), presented an evolving project A Confiscation of String- at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (2009) and curated Boule to Braid, for Lisson gallery, London (2009) . His botanical guide, using enamel signs, at the Folkestone Triennial (2008) is now a permanent public work. In 2005, Tate Liverpool presented a comprehensive exhibition including works such as False Ceiling, 1995 and Mirror Mirror, 2003. Wentworth worked closely with Artangel at King's Cross, London (2002) on An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty. Wentworth is the newly appointed Head of Sculpture at Royal College of Art. He is represented by the Lisson Gallery, London.
This lecture will be looking at the teaching of art and design in the 1980s and 90s, with particular reference to the influence of Goldsmiths, University of London.