In the first major exhibition of the late Barry Flanagan’s work in London since 1983, Tate Britain brings together about 70 sculptures, including works on paper and ceramics, that he produced between 1965 and 1982. As well as coming from the Tate’s collection, works are on loan from institutions including the Kunsthalle Zürich and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. Arranged chronologically, the show emphasises Flanagan’s use of unconventional materials to explore the boundaries of tradition, presenting early abstract work such as No.5 ’71, 1971, constructed from fabric and wood, along with 4 casb 2 ’67, 1967, assembled from canvas and sand.
The final room incorporates Flanagan’s better known hare sculptures, such as Large Leaping Hare, 1982, to focus on his development outside the studio from the late 1970s when he started to experiment with the bronze casting process. This survey “sets the scene to reposition Flanagan as a significant contributor to the development of British and international sculpture,” said Clarrie Wallis, the show’s curator and curator of contemporary art at the Tate. Other highlights include archive material from the 1960s, including poems and articles written by the artist for Silence Magazine demonstrate his interest in literature, and its influence on his work.