20th Century Sculpture by Sophie Mei Birkin
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31st March 2021 6pm
Sculpture is often wedded to ideas of solidity, permanence, site specificity and immobility. However, the history of sculpture is rich with examples of small portable works of art: from the pocket-sized works of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska to Eileen Agar and Paul Nash’s collection of fragments of wood, rocks and bones. These works were often highly personal, designed to be held, demanding a tactile response from the beholder. Some sculptures adopted talismanic properties, inspiring further artistic production from their owners who considered them (un)lucky charms. In this lecture, we will explore the challenge posed by small artworks to the traditional conception of what sculpture is, and look at how twentieth-century artists pushed the medium to its limits.