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Sculptor of Victorian Britain Alfred Drury returns to Leeds
Alfred Drury, Morn and Even. 1898-1903. Photography © Bob Speel.
LEEDS.- The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery will be greeting the New Year with an exhibition dedicated to the art of Alfred Drury, one of the leading sculptors of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, and creator of the much-talked-about bronze nude light standards in City Square, Leeds. The exhibition, curated by University of Kent art historian Dr. Ben Thomas, tours to Leeds from The University of Kent’s Studio 3 Gallery, and will open to the public on Wednesday, 15 January 2014.

The exhibition, Alfred Drury and the New Sculpture will review the art and life of Alfred Drury RA (1856-1944), addressing the formative influences on his sculptural practice and his role in the New Sculpture movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Included within the exhibition will be some of Drury’s most important, smaller-scale, sculptural works, including his most characteristic masterpieces Griselda, The Age of Innocence and Lilith.

"Whether ... working for a strong-willed individual or for a community mediated by a committee, Drury… [exercised] a creative direction that endowed each work with qualities of poetic insight that raised it above the routine.” Ben Thomas, exhibition curator, 2013 *

"An artist of singularly refined and fastidious taste, and a modeller of unusual subtletly and delicacy." The Yorkshire Post, 1903.**

Drury was arguably one of the central figures in the New Sculpture movement because he combined in his art the realism of the great French sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), with whom he had a long professional relationship, and the Michelangelo-esque vision of Alfred Stevens (1818-75), whose art he revered and whose drawings he collected.

Alongside sculptural works by Alfred Drury, the exhibition will display paintings and medals by the artist, and also documents and photographs from the period. The exhibition will also include works by Aimé Jules Dalou, Auguste Rodin, Lord Leighton, and Alfred Stevens.

Alfred Drury and the New Sculpture will be on display at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery from Wednesday 15th January to Sunday 13th April 2014. The gallery is open to the public, Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm. Admission FREE.

* 'Ben Thomas: The Public Works of Alfred Drury' in THOMAS, B (Ed.) Alfred Drury and the New Sculpture, Studio 3 Gallery, Cambridge, 2013 (pp.23)

** 'Yorkshire Post, 'Leeds City Square: The Decorative Scheme Complete,' 3 September 1903' in THOMAS, 2013 (pp.24)

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