Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bronze and beautiful!

The Royal Academy's current ticketed exhibition, Bronze, displays a huge variety of sculptures dating from approximately 4,500 BCE to Anish Kapoor's Untitled created this year. Rather than chronologically the show is arranged in themed rooms, such as Figures, Animals, Objects, etc. This creates a refreshing juxtaposition of artworks, so they have a Ming Dynasty figure in between an Auguste Rodin and a Willem de Kooning for example.

As the work spans over 6,000 years of excellent craftmanship and attention to detail there are many incredible artworks on display, although it was those from the Twentieth Century that stood out most for me. Here's a selection of my favourites...

As you enter the second room, David Smith's Portrait of a Painter (1954) (below) looks down on the visitor. I like the artists palette that the painter has for his/her head!

Borrowed from the Tate (Modern) collection, Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913, cast 1972) (below) is a famous example of Futurist sculpture. In this case capturing a strong and powerful human figure in motion.


Alberto Giacometti's The Cage (1st version) (1950) (below) shows the artist for what he is probably most well known for: tall, spindly figures which have Giacometti's finger marks still visible on the cast bronze.

As I entered the fifth room of the show, this giant spider appears to be climbing up the wall! Its Spider IV (1996) by Louise Bourgeois, who created a series of them. This one below is actually a small one in comparison to the gigantic one's displayed in and outside Tate Modern in the past.

Finally, Pablo Picasso's Baboon and Young (1951) (below) is a witty example of the way he often mixed found objects in his sculptures, such as the toy car he used here to cast the top half of the baboons face. 


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