United Enemies: The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s

1 Dec 2011 – 11 Mar 2012

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Free entry

Henry Moore Institute

Leeds, United Kingdom


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United Enemies looks at sculpture made by artists in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when the very definition of sculpture was contested.


Curator Jon Wood looks at this highly fertile and experimental period, focusing on the dramatic changes in our understanding of the medium that occurred. Aside from the institutional contests and rivalries of the time, the exhibition invites us to think retrospectively about shared ideas and correspondences, as well as reconsider the differences.

United Enemies features work by a wide range of artists, including Keith Arnatt, Clive Barker, Brian Catling, John Davies, David Dye, Garth Evans, Barry Flanagan, Phillip King, Bruce Lacey, Liliane Lijn, Barry Martin, Leonard McComb, Bruce McLean, Keith Milow, Paul Neagu, Carl Plackman, Wendy Taylor and Bill Woodrow ' bringing together practices that were not usually presented in the same group exhibition. 'Pyramid of Oranges (Soul City)' by Roelof Louw, an artist whose work straddled a range of sculptural positions in these years, introduces the exhibition. And at the centre of the show is a reconsideration of vertical form through abstract and figurative ensembles and performance-based works.

The relationship between sculpture and performance continues in our smaller Gallery 4, where we are staging Nice Style: The World's First Pose Band, which runs from 14 December onwards. The exhibition presents photographs, drawings, posters, and cards relating to a collaborative London-based performance group set up in1971 by Ron Carr, Gary Chitty, Robin Fletcher, Bruce McLean and Paul Richards.

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