Every year in the autumn months, the sprawling grounds of the stately home of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth in Derbyshire, England turn into the venue for Sotheby’s annual exhibition of monumental outdoor sculpture ‘Beyond Limits’. Already having earned international acclaim as an event of repute in this category, Sotheby’s has decided to celebrate the decade, and invited the renowned art historian Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy, to curate ‘Beyond Limits: The Landscape Of British Sculpture 1950-2015’, to be held from 14th September – 25th October 2015, giving an overview of great British sculptors since the mid 20th Century. Nearly 30 sculptors will be on display at the exhibition.
Barbara Hepworth is a leading female sculptor of the Modernist movement. Tate Britain’s current Hepworth exhibition focuses on the artist’s early career and innovative approach to form and materials, in particular her use of direct carving. The works shown at Beyond Limits explore her work’s relationship with the British landscape and her extraordinary use of bronze throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. One of the artist’s most commanding works in bronze, Three Obliques (Walk In) was conceived in 1969 and is one from an edition of only three casts (pictured on cover page). Standing at almost three metres high, the sculpture envelops the surrounding space into its form through the piercing of each oblique, allowing light and air to flow through the structure. What is even more engaging is Hepworth’s invitation to ‘walk in’ to the recessed spaces, adding to the sculpture’s architectural quality.
Anthony Caro’s Sunshine (1964) is among the most celebrated works in his career. It represents an important juncture in Caro’s work. Created from thin sheets of brightly painted steel during the artist’s stay in Bennington, Vermont, Sunshine reflects what Caro referenced as ‘the sunny atmosphere of the place’ whilst making the principal changes to the manufacture, viewing experience and pioneering use of the ground as a further dimension in his work.
Post-war sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) is also a part of this year’s exhibition with his bronze Pair of Walking Figures – Jubilee, on display. Chadwick was always intrigued by movement, either actual or implied; in this sculpture two monumental cloaked figures walk side-by-side. Conceived and cast in 1977, other works from this edition are in the collections of Le Parc du Château, Saint-Priest, Rhône and the Museo Ruffino Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo Internacional, Mexico City.
Further artists represented in the exhibition will include Reg Butler, Phillip King, Antony Gormley and Sarah Lucas.
Over the last nine years, Sotheby’s ‘Beyond Limits’ has firmly established itself as one of the most prestigious platforms for the display and sale of modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture, and a key event in the art world calendar. The idea was first conceived by Melanie Clore, Sotheby’s Chairman, Europe. Speaking about the exhibition, she said, “To mark its tenth year, we are thrilled to be staging our first themed exhibition and to have Tim Marlow working together with Simon Stock, our Senior International Specialist, bringing their expertise and tremendous energy and vision to curating this outstanding show of British sculpture in the grounds of Chatsworth.”
Tim Marlow said, “The relationship of the landscape to the works on display is integral – whether they were directly inspired by or conceived in opposition to the idea of landscape. The result, I hope, will be a sparky, creative conversation between some of the best British sculpture of the last 65 years and one of the greatest of all British country houses and its surrounding landscape.”