Art | Natural Form – Shape and Growth in Sculpture

photo: Paule Vézelay, ‘Dish with a Little Boat’

Leeds Art Gallery Collections Display

29th September 2012 – 20th March 2014
Lower Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery

‘The whole of nature is an endless demonstration of shape and form. It always surprises me when artists try to escape this.’ Henry Moore: Energie in Raum, Bruckmann, Munich, 197

The works featured in this exhibition promote nature as the derivative of all art. This is an honest exhibition that details the narrative in art of simplicity of form. It delves directly back into nature with environmental artists’ works featured, such as Andy Goldsworthy and David Nash.

Texture, line, fluidity, density and material are just some of the focuses for your intention in this exhibition, which reduces the subject to the object itself, creating a sense of spectacle in the form. ‘Pyramid’ is, simply that, a wooden pyramid sculpture. Artist David Nash strips all aesthetic aim from the art object and places importance instead on naturally occurring detail. The interplay of the grain in the wood or the pattern of shadow cast off the texture surprisingly appears and becomes the all-important feature.

The works are displayed between cabinets and unfortunately the amount of objects up for review bombards you slightly, ultimately retracting from the exhibition’s main intention of promoting the simplistic aspect of form in art.

This show demonstrates the self-awareness of form that artists gained in the 20th Century. At first it may seem unsophisticated but it is ultimately imitating nature and therefore the starting point even for the most outlandish of art. The exhibition could be seen as an introduction to the art of Henry Moore himself and his simplification of the human body to form. However, I assume it will be mostly unobserved. Due to the form being the intention of the exhibition, there is actually no aesthetic appeal and therefore no immediacy of interest to the casual observer.

Emily Harris

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