Modern Sculpture in Early 20th Century Britain
It is a forbidding challenge to overturn 400 years of accepted definitions and standards in art and create a new language. Sculptors faced the same, if not even greater challenges than painters in re-inventing their conservative, expensive practice geared to the needs of public commissions and private patronage during the early 20th century. Artists across Europe including Picasso and Matisse, Brancusi and Modigliani, Duchamp-Villon and Boccioni were jettisoning classical baggage and literary lumber in favour of radical experiments in form, material and content. This study day looks at how in Britain carvings by Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the young Henry Moore engaged with mainland Europe and challenged critical and public taste.