The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, November 14, 2018

British Sculpture Survey at the Royal Academy in London Sharply Divides Critics
People look at Damien Hirst's "Let's Eat Outdoors Today", an abandoned barbecue in a hermetic box full of live flies, during the press view for the "Modern British Sculpture" exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. AP Photo/Matt Dunham.

By: Mike Collett-White

LONDON (REUTERS).- By replacing a traditional survey of 20th century British sculpture with a "provocative set of juxtapositions," London's Royal Academy has made both friends and enemies among the critics.

Some welcomed what the gallery called a "fresh approach," but others attacked it for omitting several important British and foreign sculptors.

Most outspoken was Andrew Graham-Dixon, writing in the Sunday Telegraph's Seven magazine in his no-star review:

"This lamentable exhibition has no coherence, no clear purpose and fails to mention many of Britain's best sculptors of the past 100 years."

Laura Cumming, of The Observer, drew attention to the absence of pop art, and the lack of "advanced conceptualism."

"And if (Carl) Andre's 'Equivalent VIII' can make the cut, though the American's minimalism never took root here, then why not Marcel Duchamp, whose influence is infinitely greater?"

The exhibition, which runs until April 7, opens with a towering wooden reconstruction of the landmark Cenotaph which stands on Whitehall in London to honor the war dead.

Edwin Lutyens, who designed the original, was actually an architect, and the Royal Academy sought to "demonstrate the formal affinities that exist between sculpture and architecture." It also "manifests the power of the abstract."

In the second room, titled "Theft by Finding," 20th century works stand alongside ancient sculptures from Egypt, India and the Easter Islands, many from other British collections.

"Here you can see how the dialogue between the ancient, the ethnographic and the modern developed," said curators Penelope Curtis and Keith Wilson in the guide.

"Adam," by Jacob Epstein, dominates the third room, and reflects the physical vigor and virility of carving.

Cut from a single piece of alabaster and weighing approximately two tons, its sexually explicit nature meant that it quickly gained notoriety and toured Britain as a kind of freak show before being taken to New York for a peep-show.

The 1938-9 work now stands in the entrance hall to Harewood House, having been bought by the owner.

Another sculpture in the show which caused controversy was Andre's Equivalent VIII, with some members of the press and public objecting to the symmetrical pile of bricks.

It was made in 1966 and purchased by the Tate gallery in London six years later.

The negative reaction appears to have been triggered by a story in the Sunday Times newspaper in 1976, and may explain why American minimalism did not fully take hold in Britain.

By the 1950s, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore had become the international face of British sculpture, and the exhibition includes a room dedicated to one work each by the artists.

Moore's bronze "Reclining Figure" is horizontal and figurative, while Hepworth's "Single Form (Memorial)," made of the same material, is vertical and abstract.

U.S. artist Jeff Koons appears with his 1985 work entitled "One Ball 50/50 Tank" in which a basketball floats in a mixture of salt and distilled water inside a glass tank.

In the same room stands Briton Damien Hirst's larger work using a similar method.

"Let's Eat Outdoors Today" (1990-1) comprises two large glass boxes containing a barbecue with meat and plastic table with food as well as thousands of flies, both dead and alive.

The Independent's Charles Darwent described such juxtapositions as "own goals":

"To prove its subject's international credentials, the curators have included works by foreign artists, who largely wipe the floor with their British followers, and in any case got there first," he wrote.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

Today's News

January 28, 2011

Major Exhibition of Spanish Art at the Dawn of the 20th Century at Fondation de l'Hermitage

Tasende Gallery Presents Exhibition of Sculptures and Drawings by Mark di Suvero

Art Institute of Chicago Announces Significant Acquisition of Seminal Kazimir Malevich Painting

Louvre Hosts a Group of Sculptures by Leading British Contemporary Artist Tony Cragg

Rembrandt Portrait, Which Sold at Christie's in 2009, to Be Offered for $47 Million

British Sculpture Survey at the Royal Academy in London Sharply Divides Critics

Selling Exhibition of Key Modern British Sculpture at Robert Bowman Modern

Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art Presents Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism Christianity and Islam

Brooklyn-Based Artist and Photographer Lorna Simpson Opens Solo Exhibition at Brooklyn Museum

Exhibition of Drawings and Sculptures by Italian Artist Marisa Merz at Gladstone Gallery

The Romanovs, Tsars and Art Collectors at the Pinacotheque de Paris

Auction Record Set for Titian at Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Sale in New York

Statues Devastated in World War II Go on Show at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin

Milwaukee Art Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art Wager Masterpiece on Super Bowl XLV

Team of Researchers Says Humans May Have Left Africa Earlier than Thought

Bronzino & Portraits of Power Exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi Attracts 230,000

Malmo Konsthall Presents Exhibition Presents Photographs by Ake Hedstrom

Paul Kasmin Presents Dual Exhibition of New Works and Iconic Paintings by Kenny Scharf

Indeterminate Stillness: Berkeley Art Museum Exhibition Looks at James McNeill Whistler

Trove of Previously Unseen Letters Written by J.D. Salinger Reveal His Human Side

British Museum and Rio Tinto Announce Australian Season: Broad Program of Exhibitions

Italy's Largest and Most Important Art Fair Arte Fiera Art First Celebrates Contemporary Art

Henry Scott Tuke Painting of a Sleeping Sailor to Sell at Bonhams

Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna Presents Matthew Day Jackson Exhibition

The Bronx Museum of the Arts Presents Exhibition Exploring Work of Elizabeth Catlett

Christie's 2010 Global Art Sales Total $5.0 Billion, Highest Sales Total in History

An Evening Sale of South African Masterpieces at Bonhams in London

Jon Stewart to Join 9/11 Memorial Foundation Board

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales

2.- Michael Jackson's Bad jacket, Dylan's Fender Telecaster, U2's iconic guitars lead to Julien's Auctions sale

3.- 'Have you news of my boy?': Kipling's vain search for lost son

4.- Tate Britain opens the largest Edward Burne-Jones retrospective to be held in the UK

5.- Bartolomé Bermejo's visual universe shown in all its splendor for the very first time

6.- Thomas P. Campbell to lead the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

7.- Canadian doctors to start prescribing museum visits

8.- Exhibition in Leuven brings to life the grandiose world of the noble Arenberg family

9.- Walking Batman strolls across the auction block for a record $16,800 at Milestone's Premier Toy Auction

10.- Skeletons unearthed in giant United Kingdom train line excavation

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

Check out for a range of beautifully designed online slot games.

Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful