Dialectical Materialism  British Sculpture since the 1960s

Jonathan Vernon and Jon Wood, 2019

27 × 22.5 cm
ISBN: 978 1 909932 54 8

Exhibition catalogue to accompany the Karsten Schubert gallery show (28 September–6 October, 1 Park Village East, London NW1 7PX), featuring the work of Anthony Caro, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, William Turnbull, Rachel Whiteread and Alison Wilding. The exhibition includes the work of six sculptors, to be seen both as a group and also as pairs. Each of them are represented both by large and smaller works. 

Dialectical Materialism: Aspects of British Sculpture Since the 1960s, conceived by Karsten Schubert, is a bold, subtle and imaginative intervention into this complex subject, reconsidering its terrain through a small selection of artists and objects. In doing so, it focuses on objects more than contexts, on the art work not the art school. The title has two parts. The first part, ‘Dialectical Materialism’, a much debated term drawn from Hegel and Marxist political philosophy, is deployed here to point to the dynamic and generative forces of opposition and reaction that have charged and driven the making of much sculpture in Britain since the post-war years. In the essay that follows, Jonathan Vernon looks into the potential of this concept in relation to the developing treatment of material, space and object-hood found in British sculpture since 1960. The second part, ‘Aspects of British Sculpture’, is drawn from Herbert Read’s introduction to the catalogue of British Pavilion for the XXVI Venice Biennale in 1952. In this text, which championed the work of Lynn Chadwick, Reg Butler, William Turnbull, Kenneth Armitage, Geoffrey Clarke, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Adams and Henry Moore.


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