Thursday 19 November 2015

Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2

Camdonian is a work in sheet steel sprayed in bronze by Barry Flanagan. Its date, 1980, is a critical one in Flanagan's career, marking the time he took up making the bouncy bronze hares for which he is now best known.
Flanagan had previously been one of the main exponents of post-minimalism, the idea that sculptural shapes are a function of materials and can be created by any process whatever. Carl Andre's pile of bricks (sorry, Equivalent VIII) is the most notorious example. Flanagan went even further, causing materials to create their own sculpture by hanging bags of sand or throwing ropes on the ground.
So when he started casting nice, popular, rather jolly statues of hares he was denounced as an apostate by the modernist elite.
However, Camdonian represents a strand in Flanagan's creative output that runs throughout his career. The last sheet steel cutout he made was in 2006, only shortly before he died, using Cor-Ten steel, now the material of choice for any architect aiming at winning the Stirling Prize.
Fun Fact: Flanagan used to tour the Continent in a Rolls Royce towing an Airstream caravan. Now, that's style.

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