Modern British Sculpture, Fanning the Flames
21 June - 20 July 2012
It is largely through the work of one of the most fascinating sculptors of the Twentieth Century, Henry Moore, that Britain took an important place in the international mainstream of art in the early part of the century. His work greatly influenced the course of world sculpture and marked the beginning of the modern tradition in Britain.
In 1952 the exhibition New Aspects of British Sculpture in the British Pavilion at the XXVI Venice Biennale brought to the world’s notice the extraordinary fact that Great Britain now had a remarkable number of highly gifted sculptors quite capable of establishing an international ascendancy.
Six of the sculptors from that significant exhibition are represented again here - Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. And with them are the two sculptors who paved the way for them, Henry Moore himself and Barbara Hepworth.
This representative sample of the best of modern British sculpture highlights a post-war flowering when emerging British sculptors recently returned from sometimes harrowing war experiences, established an entirely new idiom. They were blessed at the outset by career-defining international exposure of the 1952 Venice Biennale where the sculptors included in the present survey participated in the New Aspects of British Sculpture exhibition in the British Pavilion.' Peter Davies, 2012