Figurative and abstract art can be as distant from one another as points at the opposite ends of a wide horizon, which doesn’t mean that what goes on in the middle ground is any less individual or less interesting. And, as with art exhibited in galleries, context and juxtaposition are just as important considerations for art shown in the open air, where, depending on the light, the materials, the structure and form, relative scale and surroundings, a sculpture can appear near, far off, or just a stroll away.
While the overall context of Here, There and Somewhere In Between, the forthcoming enigmatically titled sculpture exhibition at Hatfield House, was fixed, it fell on curator Bill Woodrow to establish an intuitive flow between the diverse works, all by fellow Royal Academicians and sited in a variety of locations within the neo-Jacobean formal gardens and in the woodland areas, that would feel right to the visitor.
The concept of showing art in the environs of grand country estates isn’t new – Chatsworth and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park are notable precedents – and in fact this is only the latest in a series of sculptural exhibitions at the 17th century house, but this event is significant in that it marks the first time works by Academicians have been exhibited en masse beyond the four walls and courtyard of the Royal Academy, itself founded in 1768.
The work of the selected artists: Ann Christopher, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Deacon, Gary Hume, Alison Wilding and Bill Woodrow, ranges from figurative to abstract, while some of it occupies a position somewhere in between.
Images from top
Michael Craig Martin RA
Hammer (purple), 2011
Powder coated steel
Image ©the artist. Courtesy New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park
and Gagosian Gallery
Image courtesy of Hatfield House
Richard Deacon RA
Image courtesy of the Lisson Gallery and the artist
Bill Woodrow RA
Endeavour [Cannon Dredged from the First Wreck of the Ship of Fools], 1994
Image courtesy of the artist
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