Bronze Sculpture at Canary Wharf…
There are some rather wonderful bronze sculptures on display at Canary Wharf at the moment. Forming part of the Chris Ingram collection and on loan from The Lightbox Gallery in Woking, they represent a small selection of his 400+ Modernist works.
Many great names are featured including Elizabeth Frink, Jacob Epstein and Eduardo Paolozzi, however it was the work of some lesser known artists that really held my attention.
Kenneth Armitage is not exactly a household name, but he absolutely should be in my humble opinion. His primary style consists of groups of figures, often joined together by a field or plane that envelopes them and upon which (or possibly from which) they take shape.
Model for the Krefeld Monument No. 2 (1956) is such a piece. I’m always amazed at how such simple ideas and fairly rough execution can be so hugely expressive. The three figures stand together as a single form, heads and legs clearly distinguished, whilst an arm points off into the distance to some unknown and unknowable thing.. a really haunting and beautiful work.
As noted earlier, much of Armitage’s sculpture is based around these combined groups, as these images of some of his other work suggest.
Another name that stood out was Lynn Chadwick. His work has been on show in and around Canary Wharf for many years now, but the Ingram collection has some smaller and altogether more sinister (if that were possible) works.
Chadwick’s skill was his ability to transform organic forms into angles, edges and points, whilst still retaining their basic anthropological characteristics. His use of triangles, cubes and prisms for faces and heads gives his figures an unsettling aspect that is often emphasized by either their scale or setting and allowed Chadwick to invest his work with a dynamism that might otherwise be difficult to capture. His most recognisable works are the pairs of faceless, inscrutable figures, often dressed in capes often sitting, waiting for who knows what or striding off to some unknown destination..
Of the works on show at Canary Wharf, I was particularly drawn to Beast X and Bird XI, two bestial figures that almost seemed on the verge of attacking each other.. (I’m afraid I’ve had to re stage the scene, as the glass case in which the figures were presented and the thousands of lights in the lobby of One Canada Square made photographs virtually impossible).
So all in all a small, but perfectly formed little exhibition and well worth 20 minutes of your time if you’re in the area. Suffice to say, that if I had Mr. Ingram’s resources, I would likely be buying the same things…
Full details of all the works, artists and opening times etc. can be found here.