St James’s Square
15th May to 17 June 2019
Christie’s will present the third iteration of Sculpture in the Square, an outdoor sculpture garden set within St James’s Square, London, on view to the public from 15 May to 17 June 2019. The exhibition will display nine works that will be offered in the Modern British Art Evening Sale as part of ‘20th Century at Christie’s’, a series of sales that take place from 17 to 26 June 2019. Artists include Barry Flanagan, Henry Moore, Dame Elisabeth Frink and Emily Young. Presented in St James’s Square adjacent to Christie’s headquarters on King Street, Sculpture in the Square will coincide with the opening of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from 21 to 25 May 2019.
Exhibition curator Pippa Jacomb, Director, Modern British Art at Christie’s: “Sculpture has always played an integral part in reflecting the interior space externally. ‘Sculpture in the Square’ will give viewers the opportunity to interact with works by leading artists such as Henry Moore, Emily Young, Barry Flanagan and Elisabeth Frink in the context in which the artists originally envisaged them. The 20th Century season at Christie’s is an exciting time to be in London, and we are thrilled that these highlights from the Modern British Art Evening sale will be on view in St James’s Square for the public to enjoy.”
Henry Moore’s Working Model for Standing Figure: Knife Edge (1961, illustrated first page) was inspired by a piece of bone dug from his garden. Its commanding height and the dancing movement that is conveyed by the twist of the form has resulted in one of Moore’s most successful compositions of this period. Cast in smooth, reflective, polished bronze, completely devoid of surface tooling or texture, Working Model for Oval with Points by Henry Moore (circa 1968-69, illustrated below) has an almost fluid quality to its sinuous curves. At its centre, two points stretch towards one another across an expertly calculated void, stopping just short of touching, leaving the space between filled by an almost palpable charge of electricity. Henry Moore’s Working Model for Locking Piece (1962, illustrated below) is a powerful example of the spatial and visual complexity the artist achieved in his sculptures during the late period of his career.
One of the most recognisable and powerful motifs in her career, the male figure demonstrates Elisabeth Frink’s preoccupation with exploring complexities of the human condition. Where principally male artists were depicting women as muses or nurturing mother figures, Frink set herself apart from her contemporaries, with her focus on the male. A solitary figure, Running Man (Front Runner) (1986, illustrated first page) is dynamically frozen mid-stride, advancing towards an unknown destination. Frink’s In Memoriam I (1981, illustrated above) is a larger than life form that emanates a sense of suffering and stoicism. These two works, along with Henry Moore’s Working Model for Oval with Points and Working Model for Locking Piece come from a private North American collection.
Barry Flanagan’s The Bowler (1990, illustrated first page), Hare on Pyramid (1988, illustrated below) and Large Troubador (2004, illustrated below) are three works which exemplify Flanagan’s most significant artistic obsession with the hare. As a member of the Royal Zoological Society, Flanagan featured other animals in his oeuvre, but the hare remains his most constant motif with which he is now invariably associated.
The exhibition also includes Helios by Emily Young (late 1990s, illustrated below), where the serene human face that dominates Young’s oeuvre is reduced to an almost androgynous simplicity; and Michele Oka Doner’s Without the Reef, whose work is fuelled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world.