This Is Sculpture at Tate Liverpool


Tate Liverpool – DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture
1 May 2009 – 11 April 2010.  Admission free

bill-woodrow This is a massive show spread across the first and second floors, so many good and iconic works and not just 3D, I was pleased to see plenty of paintings on the walls too. Also interesting to see such brightly coloured walls (though it makes photography difficult) and the Hemingway’s silent disco area is great fun.

There are three sections, each curated by different people.

First of all Michael Craig-Martin – ‘Sculpture: The Physical World’
Artist Michael Craig-Martin has selected and arranged works to focus on the complex ways that sculpture informs our understanding and experience of the physical world.

Craig-Martin has paintied each of the three gallery spaces in this section a different vivid colour, centred around a new large-scale wall drawing made specially for the space. In his signature style, this drawing combines the word ‘sculpture’ with boldly outlined motifs of dozens of everyday objects, from footballs to coathangers.


Masterpieces from Michael Craig-Martin’s section of the display include Amedeo Modigliani’s Head (1911-2), Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917, replica 1964), Pablo Picasso’s Cock (1932, cast 1952), Donald Judd’s Untitled (1973), and Franz West’s Viennoiserie (1998).

salvador-dali-lobster-telephone rene-magritte-the-future-of-statues

Secondly Wayne and Jack Hemingway: – ‘Sculpture Remixed’
Put on your headphones and dance. Designed to counteract the perception of galleries as stuffy, formal spaces, Hemingway & Son have juxtaposed figurative sculpture with an interactive disco environment. 25 life-size sculptures, from the late 19th century to the present day, tell the story of the human body as represented through sculpture.

A light-up dancefloor designed by Kathrine Sandys (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) occupies the centre of the space and visitors are invited to take part in a silent disco. To provide an alternative gallery experience visitors can pick up wireless headphones and listen to specially-selected tracklists.

Highlights include Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1880-1), Germaine Richier’s Shepherd of the Landes (1951, cast 1996), Antony Gormley’s Three Ways: Mould, Hole and Passage (1981), and Ron Mueck’s Ghost (1998).

Listen to my interview with Wayne and Jack Hemingway here



The third section..Tim Etchells – ‘Performing Sculpture’

First time round I completely missed Jeppe Hein’s moving wall though I did wonder why there was a big blank wall there, you have to watch carefully to see that its moving.

Tim Etchells, Artistic Director of celebrated theatre company Forced Entertainment,  draws on his experience to explore the role of sculpture as performance. This area is dedicated to exploring ‘sculptures that perform’, typified by the works of artists such as Jean Tinguely, the ‘performed sculpture’ enacted by artists such as Helen Chadwick, alongside sculptures that invite the viewer to ‘perform’, such as Luis Camnitzer’s work Sentences (1966). There is also an ongoing performance entitled In Many Ways, in which a performer moves a chair to occupy many different positions marked by dots on the gallery floor.

Major works from the Tate collection featured in Tim Etchells’ section of the display include Piero Manzoni’s Artist’s Breath (1960), Rebecca Horn’s Mechanical Body Fan (1973-4) and Gilbert & George’s Happy (1980). This display  also features Invisible Moving Wall (2001) by Jeppe Hein, where a large wall slowly moves within the space.

jim-lambie-skas-not-dead man-ray-indestructible-object

Tate Liverpool – This Is Sculpture