20th Century Sculpture by Sophie Mei Birkin

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Trinkets and Talismans of the Avant-Garde Small Sculptures of the 20th Century 
By Sophie Mei Birkin 

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.  

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120 mins