This years Chatsworth House exhibition mounted by auctioneer’s Sotheby’s will feature several works by the iconic British sculptor Barry Flanagan. The annual selling exhibition of monumental sculpture, ‘Beyond Limits’, staged in the historic grounds of this stately home, will be on view from 7th September to 28th October 2012.
Now in its seventh year, for the first time, Beyond Limits will showcase the work of a single artist, in collaboration with Waddington Custot Galleries, London, Sotheby’s will exhibit 15 of the Flanagan’s large-scale sculptures. This will constitute the biggest ever exhibition of his monumental bronzes. Commenting on this year’s Beyond Limits, Alexander Platon, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Private Sales, Europe, said: ‘It has been a privilege to handle Barry Flanagan’s monumental sculptures for this year’s exhibition. This is the first time since the launch of Beyond Limits in 2006 that we have showcased the work of a single artist at Chatsworth, and we are especially proud that, in doing so, we have curated the largest ever exhibition of late bronzes by one of Britain’s leading sculptors.’ Discussing the exhibition, the art historian Jo Melvin, who was a friend of the artist, said: ‘The majestic surroundings of Chatsworth provide the perfect setting for an outdoor exhibition of Barry Flanagan’s late works.
The beautiful garden with its many formal and picturesque components adds to the magic of his sculpture and provides a wonderful opportunity for the public to engage with the rich mythology and folklore which inspired him. The location of each work has been very well considered and creates a flowing narrative from sculpture to sculpture; I think Barry would have been delighted with the exhibition.’ Following Tate Britain’s recent retrospective Barry Flanagan: Early Works 1965–1982, which closed in January 2012, Sotheby’s is presenting a selection of fifteen of the artist’s critically acclaimed monumental late works. Bronze hares, elephants and horses, represented in a variety of highly inventive guises – as dancers, acrobats, sportsmen and philosophers – have been installed throughout the grounds of Chatsworth in a witty and engaging counterpoint to the landscape and gardens. The exhibition will showcase the profound influence that Flanagan’s upbringing in a family of travelling performers had on his work, as well as the lasting impression left by George Ewart Evans’s anthropological study, The Leaping Hare. The ancestral British home, combined with the work of a quintessentially British sculptor, are expected to draw an international audience from America, Asia and the Middle East, where works by Flanagan are avidly collected.
Barry Flanagan RA OBE (1941-2009) Barry Flanagan is one of Britain’s most important sculptors. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, to a family of music hall performers, his uncle was a high-wire artist and one of his aunts was Ella Retford the famous singer. The effect of being surrounded by performers was to create a lasting influence on Flanagan’s work as a sculptor. Indeed, the artist was also an accomplished dancer and keen cellist. He described himself as an itinerant sculptor and lived and worked in numerous locations throughout the British Isles as well as spending a lot of time in New York. Flanagan received many honours; in 1991 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and was awarded the OBE the same year. He died in Ibiza in 2009.