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Henry Moore Institute Newsletter Issue 111
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Newsletter
Henry Moore Institute Newsletter Issue 111
January-February 2014

Within our programme here at the Henry Moore Institute we pay particular attention to studying single works. In Gallery 4 we present a series of one-sculpture exhibitions, recently featuring Jean Tinguely, Alberto Giacometti, Sturtevant, Vlassis Caniaris and, opening on 22 January, the Stenberg brothers. This week we also focus on one work in a seminar, developed in collaboration with the Arts Council Collection at Longside. This is the collection’s base for sculpture, located within Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We will discuss a single work from this collection by Charles Hewlings, ‘At the Foot of Borobudur’ (1976). Over the last year artist John Plowman has been conducting research into Hewlings' sculpture in our Library and Archive, driven by his fascination with the sculpture since he first encountered it at Acme Gallery in 1976. Acme Gallery worked closely with Stephen Cripps, whose work is currently on show at the Institute alongside Dennis Oppenheim: Thought Collision Factories.

In the 2013-14 Leeds sculpture collections display, Polychromies: Surface, Light and Colour, we feature one work on loan from the Arts Council Collection: ‘Regine’ (2007) by Rebecca Warren, on show until March. The next collection display, Narrating Objects: Unlocking the Stories of Sculpture, opens in May and will be accompanied by seminars devoted to single works in the Leeds Museums and Galleries sculpture collections, managed in partnership with the Institute.

Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies

 

Image: Ignition of Dennis Oppenheim Fireworks Sign 'Narrow Mind', 1975, re-presented 27 November 2013 at the Henry Moore Institute, photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones

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Exhibitions
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New Exhibition

Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg: Construction for a Spatial Structure VI ('KPS6', 1919/73)

22 January - 20 April, Gallery 4

In 1973, following over a year of correspondence with Vladimir Stenberg (1899-1982), French-Bulgarian art historian Andrei B. Nakov (b. 1941) oversaw the reconstruction of several ‘KPS’ sculptures that Vladimir and Georgii (1900-33) Stenberg originally made in 1919. Produced in Paris by René Hanesse, the reconstructions were made with close attention paid to exhibition photographs, as well as drawings and notes provided by Vladimir. While the artist never saw these reconstructions, they are today the only existing examples of the much ignored three-dimensional work by the Stenberg brothers, known more widely for their graphic design and, particularly, cinema posters. Our Gallery 4 display brings together ‘Construction for a Spatial Structure KPS6’ (1919/73) alongside one of Vladimir’s drawings from 1973, as well as a photograph showing similar ‘KPS’ works as part of the second annual Society of Young Artists (OMBOKhU) exhibition in May 1921.

At the Henry Moore Institute, one of our key research areas is the relationship between the original sculpture and its copy. Recent exhibitions Sturtevant: ‘Duchamp Bicycle Wheel’ (1969-73), 1913: The Shape of Time and Indifferent Matter: From Object to Sculpture have all explored the problems of reconstructing and repeating works conceived in the past. Photography plays a crucial role here, not least in aiding the production of reconstructions, but also in disseminating and communicating past exhibitions of sculpture, a theme underscoring the recent exhibition Vladimir Markov: Displays and Fictions and the upcoming Photographing Sculpture: How the Image Moves the Object.

Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg: Construction for a Spatial Structure VI ('KPS6', 1919/73) continues our preoccupation with these themes, asking how the encounter with a reconstructed sculpture, a drawing and photograph can enrich and inform our understanding of sculpture.

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Collections
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New Acquisition

Simon Fujiwara’s ‘Rebekkah’ (2012) has been purchased for the Leeds sculpture collection through the Contemporary Art Society Collections Committee. It will be displayed at the Contemporary Art Society from 29 January to 28 March, before coming to Leeds, where it will appear in the new sculpture displays Narrating Objects: Unlocking the Stories of Sculpture, opening in early May.

‘Rebekkah’ is inspired by a sixteen-year old girl from Hackney, Rebekkah, who was one of the protagonists of the 2011 London Riots. Rebekkah was asked by Fujiwara to travel to China to take part in a unique social experiment, where her access to social media was restricted and she visited factories manufacturing the objects she aspired to own and took for granted (fashion clothing, mobile phones, flat-screen TVs). The trip culminated with a viewing of the Terracotta Army, after which Rebekkah was taken to a factory where casts were made of her body to be assembled into modern day versions of the warriors. Up to 100 figures were created in this assembly line technique. The work which has been given to Leeds consists of five terracotta casts (three whole and two broken) and a film which documents Rebekkah’s journey.

‘Rebekkah’ will illuminate key strands within the Leeds sculpture collection. It will help to chart the development of lifesize figure sculpture and portrait sculpture from the nineteenth century onwards, contribute to debates around life casting within the collection and relate to performance-based works in the collection from the 1960s onwards, an area that has been collected actively over the last decade. In addition, ‘Rebekkah’ will make connections with different categories of object across the Leeds Museum and Galleries collections, in terms of materials, process and historical narrative.

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Library
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On Display

Albert Toft: A Lesson in Modelling and Sculpture

13 January – 23 March

The current Library display focuses on the teaching manual Modelling and Sculpture, published in 1911 by sculptor Albert Toft (1862-1949), along with archive images of Toft working in his studio. It has been developed by Charlotte Drew, PhD student at the University of York, and explores the processes involved in making sculpture, from initial sketch to modelling in clay and marble carving. It provides a glimpse into sculptors’ training and practice at the turn of the century, highlighting the extent to which sculptors such as Toft had to learn to be anatomists, chemists, engineers and teachers, as well as creative artists.

Our Research Library presents changing displays of material from the Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors' Papers and our Special Collections. Over the last year we have been working with the University of York to develop a series of displays resulting from research produced from the Displaying Victorian Sculpture project, an AHRC funded collaboration between the Departments of Art History at the Universities of York and Warwick. Albert Toft is the penultimate display in this series.

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Gifts to the Library

The Library is delighted to receive a small group of catalogues on optical and kinetic art from the library of the late Michael Compton, Keeper of Museum Services, Tate Gallery, 1970-1987, presented by Ann Compton. Many of the publications are hard to find in the UK, including Light Motion Space, a catalogue from an exhibition curated by Willoughby Sharp at the Walker Art Gallery in 1967. At the time, Willoughby Sharp was working on his doctoral thesis on the development of kinetic art and the catalogue includes a useful essay and references on the subject.

The Library also received a number of out-of-print publications from Amy Oppenheim. The catalogues focus on Dennis Oppenheim’s machine works shown in Paris, the United States and Japan in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Recent audio-visual acquisitions include Dennis Oppenheim’s DVD Tooth and Nail: Film and Video 1970-74 which includes many of Oppenheim’s notable films.

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Archive
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Archive Internship: Report by Isabel Wade

Cataloguing the Daphne Hardy-Henrion Sketchbooks

I began my six month internship at the Henry Moore Institute Archive in late September, set with the task of cataloguing the sketchbooks from the recently acquired Daphne Hardy-Henrion (1917-2003) archive, (collection reference: 2012.105), kindly donated by the artist’s family.

The Daphne Hardy-Henrion archive consists primarily of seventy-five sketchbooks, spanning from the 1930s through to the 1980s. The archive offers an insight into the artist’s practice and includes many loose sketches, largely of figurative drawings, some of which were gathered together into folders by the artist and her family.

Previous to starting the internship, I had only a small amount of experience in working with archival materials, but with the supervision of Claire Mayoh, the Institute's Archivist, I have made good progress with the task in hand. I have enjoyed learning about, and putting into practice, the processes and skills required when cataloguing archival materials within a specialist repository. 

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Research
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Conference Report: Dr Teresa Stoppani

Pyrotechnic Sculpture

Henry Moore Institute, 30 November 2013

Katinka Seeger opened the day of presentations on ‘pyrotechnic sculpture’ introducing the practice of explosion as an artistic tool. Intervening on painting to turn it into an ephemeral sculpture (Yves Klein) or experimenting with performative destruction (Destruction in Art symposium, 1966), different art practices of the 1960s saw the artist as a provocateur and as an igniter of effects that he could choreograph but not fully predict. The use of explosions and open flames showed a making of art that relinquished control not only of its formal outcome but also of the process of its making. Fire and its performance opened the way to a redefinition of the artistic object (subject to the changes of both its form and its status), its stability (the unpredictability of organic processes and chemical reactions), and genre (sculpture as dynamic and ephemeral).

Burning and explosion transform both the form and the status of the artistic object, but do not destroy art. Insofar as the physical destruction of the art object constitutes an artistic intervention, art cannot be destroyed – an argument supported, with different focus and through different examples, by all the conference speakers.

Marin Sullivan showed how Alberto Burri’s 'Combustioni Plastiche', employing combustion as their raw matter, blurred the boundaries of painting and sculpture. Slow and methodical, Burri’s work on the surface is not an attack made to destroy but to find and transform, and his use of the flame remains a tool of personal material investigation, even when televised.

Claire Louise Staunton showed how burning, explosion and destruction became a staged event in John Latham’s work. In his 'Skoob Tower' ceremonies, steel structures filled with books, encyclopedias or magazines were burnt down in a symbolic destruction of systematised knowledge. The event as collapse of time and as eruption of the unpredictable (Alain Badiou) is here the agent of change of the ‘live’ material of sculpture, as ‘the only essential element in sculpture is time’ (John Latham).

Latham’s statement lent the title to Rozemin Keshvani’s presentation of a selection of contemporary practices, while Ursula Ströbele examined the different use of time in recent works of ‘sculpture as performance’, from the slow planning of a sudden burst (Andreas Greiner and Armin Keplinger) to the hypnotic repetition of a choreographed ritual (Anish Kapoor).

Mari Dumett’s analysis of Jean Tinguely’s 'Homage to New York' (1960), the bewildering metamachine that went literally wild in the MoMA courtyard where it was being presented, showed that the practice of explosion in art is not only a tool, but indeed performs a (disruptive) critical role. Made of junk discarded by the capitalist metropolis, Tinguely’s work mocked the wealth and the scale of the city and the grandeur of the host institution. While the ‘uselessness’ of the anti-machine performed a critique of its surroundings, its unpredictability (but was its failure really unintentional?) proclaimed the ultimate act of affirmation of the work of art by self-destruction.

This is echoed in the work of British artist Michael Landy. In conversation with Richard Calvocoressi, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation, Landy discussed some of his projects in which the 'work' of art is to perform, through self-destruction, a critique of consumerism ('Market', 1990), of identity ('Break Down', 2001), of the art market ('Art Bin', 2010) and of inherited cultural and religious beliefs ('Saints Alive', 2013).

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Call for Papers

The Sculpture of the Écorché

Henry Moore Institute, 7 June 2014

This one-day conference takes the écorché - a model of the body with the skin removed and the superficial muscles displayed - as its subject, reconsidering the many ways in which it has been understood in relation to sculpture from the sixteenth century to the present day. We are interested in how the écorché has been variously seen and employed:

  • as a teaching tool and as a model for the education of sculptors
  • as a scientific, three-dimensional demonstration model
  • in relation to the idealised forms of classical sculpture
  • as sculpture in its own right, produced, reproduced and circulated in different forms
  • as sculptural process and in relation to the figurative sculptural imagination

Papers are invited which draw out the relationships between sculpture and the écorché, looking at objects and makers from the sixteenth century onwards.

Please send a 250 word abstract and a short CV to Dr Rebecca Wade, Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellow (rebecca.wade@henry-moore.org) by Monday 17 February 2014.

This conference coincides with the Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum conference at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London on 6 June 2014. 

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Events
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Forthcoming Events

Unless otherwise noted, events are free. Booking is advised as places are limited. See www.henry-moore.org/hmi

Thursday 23 January 2-4pm

External event: At the Foot of Borobudur

Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Tuesday 28 January 6.30pm

Film screening at Hyde Park Picture House:

Dennis Oppenheim: Making Ideas Material

Tickets available from www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk

Wednesday 29 January 6pm

Lecture: Jo Melvin (Chelsea College of Art and Design)

Dennis Oppenheim: Fireworks, Armatures and Thought Collisions

Wednesday 5 February 3-5pm

Gallery Discussion: Stephen Cripps: Pyrotechnic Sculptor

Anne Bean, Michael Pennie, Peter Randall-Page and Sophie Raikes, chaired by Jon Wood

Wednesday 5 February 6-7.30pm

Gallery Discussion: Commissioning Risk

Ingrid Swenson, William Hunt and Jonathan Harvey

Wednesday 19 February 4-6pm

Collections Discussion: Surface Tension: The Skin of Sculpture from 1800 to the Present

David Batchelor, Gülru Çakmak, Harry Willis Fleming, chaired by Sophie Raikes and Pavel Pyś

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Noticeboard
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Institute Shortlisted for Architecture Award

 

The 2013 Leeds Architecture Awards is the twenty-fifth awards ceremony and provides an opportunity to review how the urban landscape has changed, consider which buildings have stood the test of time and the contribution architecture has made to the character and nature of Leeds as a city. A special award will be presented to the scheme, which, in the view of judges, has made the most Outstanding Contribution to Architecture and Design in Leeds. Schemes nominated for the Outstanding Contribution award were also reviewed by the Young People's Panel.

 

We are excited that the Henry Moore Institute building has been shortlisted in the Altered Building Category, and are looking forward to the Awards Ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 23 January.

 

The building, which is subtle in composition yet ambitious in scope, continues to attract interest, and was well received by the press when it opened and by the city, marking a change from Leeds’ previous reputation for provincial, pedestrian, dull red-brick and blue slate roofed buildings, known as ‘The Leeds Look’. It won the 1993 Leeds Design for Architecture and the RIBA Architecture Award (Yorkshire Region) the same year.

 

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AAH Freelance and Independents Workshop Series

Public Engagement for Art Historians

AAH Headquarters, 13 February 2014

Art historians in all sectors are increasingly required to communicate their research to the public, whether in the context of museums or art galleries, schools, or other public arenas. How can we fund projects in an environment of severely limited resources? How can they best be delivered? And how can we evaluate projects so that we can inform future planning? This workshop will explore these issues with experts working in the field.

Places are limited to thirty and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration: www.aah.org.uk/events/professional-development

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Call for Papers

Fifty Years After Panofsky's 'Tomb Sculpture'. New Approaches, New Perspectives, New Material

The Courtauld Institute of Art, 21 June 2014

A one-day conference to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Erwin Panofsky's Tomb Sculpture: Four Lectures on its Changing Aspects from Ancient Egypt to Bernini, comprising the lectures originally delivered in 1956 at New York's Institute of Fine Arts.

The aim is to showcase the developments in research techniques and approaches that have led to new insights into tomb sculpture. The core period covered by the conference will be Medieval to Early Modern, but papers up to the current day will be considered. The core geographic focus will be Europe.

More information: tombsculpture@gmail.com

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Call for Papers and Closed Panels

Fourth International Conference: The European Network for Avant-garde and Modernism Studies

University of Helsinki, 29-31 August 2014

Modernism and Avant-gardism are artistic languages of rupture. Both were directed against traditional ways of conceiving art, often assuming an antagonistic position in relation to existing cultural and social institutions and relationships. This conference explores the utopian alternatives with Modernist and Avant-garde artists offered to existing society.

More information: www.eam-europe.be

Abstracts to be submitted online at: www.eam2014.com

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