Highlights include Laurence Bradshaw’s (1899-1978) iconic Karl Marx Memorial (1956) which stands in Highgate Cemetery in north London. A pilgrimage site for international socialist leaders and politicians over the past 50 years, the monument has also been a target for attacks and demonstrations, including damage from homemade bomb explosions in the 1970s
Rare photographs from the Henry Moore Institute archives of Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) featuring his famous British Medical Association sculptures (1908-1937) are included in the display. The series of 8ft high nude statues symbolising the ages of man were Epstein’s first major commission, installed on the façade of the British Medical Association in The Strand, London. Considered by some as highly offensive when unveiled, the controversial sculptures were destroyed in the 1930s. In an investigation into changing attitudes to public sculpture, artist Neal White’s (b. 1966) The Third Campaign (2004-5) reinvigorates Epstein’s unsuccessful battles to protect the works, through demonstrations, letters and photographs.
The conception and planning of other unconventional sculptural projects are revealed, including Power for the People (1972) by Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945- 2014), which proposed large flags bearing the phrase being mounted on prominent buildings along the Thames.
Unrealised proposals such as the Temple of Universal Ethics, an ambitious architectural development designed by Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon (1906- 1985) to promote international relations and British-Romanian artist Paul Neagu’s (1938-2004) unrealised Starhead (1986) monument will also be explored in the display.
Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme of displays presenting guest archives and drawing from the Whitechapel Gallery's own history. A series of events including screenings, talks and tours will accompany the exhibition.
The display has been co-curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery at the Whitechapel Gallery; Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute and Jon Wood, Research Curator at the Henry Moore Institute with Bryony Harris, Assistant Curator; Special Projects at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive
22 September 2014 – 22 February 2015