MAKING IT: SCULPTURE IN BRITAIN 1977–1986

A TOURING EXHIBITION FROM THE ARTS COUNCIL COLLECTION 1 April–21 June 2015


Curated by Dr Jon Wood (Research Curator, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds) and Senior Collection Curator, Natalie Rudd the exhibition is drawn primarily from the holdings of the Arts Council Collection and complimented with major loans from important UK public and private collections. This substantial exhibition, embraces a wide range of sculptural practices, highlighting shared concerns, as well as important differences, between and within established groups, and enabling the work of a younger generation to be presented alongside that of both lesser known and older, more established figures.

Artists represented in Making It: Edward Allington, Eric Bainbridge, Phyllida Barlow, Kate Blacker, Boyle Family, Tony Carter, Helen Chadwick, Shelagh Cluett, John Cobb, Stephen Cox, Tony Cragg, Michael Craig-Martin, John Davies, Paul de Monchaux, Richard Deacon, Kenneth Draper, Gareth Fisher, Barry Flanagan, John Gibbons, Antony Gormley, Nigel Hall, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, George Meyrick, David Nash, Martin Naylor, Paul Neagu, Julian Opie, Margaret Organ, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cornelia Parker, Carl Plackman, Nicholas Pope, Peter Randall-Page, Veronica Ryan, Michael Sandle, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Shelagh Wakely, Richard Wentworth, Alison Wilding, Glynn Williams, Richard Wilson, Gary Woodley and Bill Woodrow.

Jill Constantine, Head of the Arts Council Collection said: “Making It captures the breadth and vitality of the sculpture being produced in this country during this period. Many of these artists went on to achieve international recognition and acclaim and their influence is very much in evidence on younger artists today. We are grateful to the many artists and curators who have contributed to the exhibition and catalogue as we are to our future tour partners.”

Dr Jon Wood co-curator said: “Making It offers an opportunity to look again at this imaginative and materially resourceful period for sculpture. It considers individual achievements within a larger context in which commonalities and differences of approach emerge, that were sometimes less visible at the time. In these years, artists turned to ‘sculpture’, using objects, found materials, colour, images, humour, figuration and narrative, whilst asking searching questions of their own practices and processes.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a new fully illustrated publication with an essay by Dr Jon Wood and firsthand accounts by twelve leading critics, writers, gallerists and curators who made a significant contribution to the development of the British art scene during this period.

Making It is an Arts Council Collection touring exhibition, which launches at Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park before touring to Mead Art Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick (8 October–5 December 2015) and City Art Centre, Edinburgh (7 May–3 June 2016). The Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London.

We are grateful to the Henry Moore Institute for their research support and for making available the rich resources of the Henry Moore Institute Research Library. The Henry Moore Institute will stage a related conference in 2015.

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