Large Leaping Hare (Primary Title)
"If you consider what conveys situation and meaning and feeling in a human figure, the range of expression is in fact far more limited than the device of investing an animal - a hare especially - with the expressive attributes of a human being." Barry Flanagan
Flanagan's cavorting hare, a continuing subject he began making in the early 1980s, combines humor and sophistication with a poke in the ribs. Flanagan started his career in the 1960s by rejecting prevailing formalist tastes for welded-steel sculpture. He experimented instead with limp lengths of rope, unfinished wooden poles, and soft cloth forms filled with sand or plaster - informal, impermanent, organic anti-objects that tested the limits of sculpture.
Flanagan returned to traditional sculptural materials - stone in the 1970s and bronze in the early 1980s - but not to traditional practices. One of the first figures he made when he began casting in bronze, Flanagan's hare was a witty iconoclast effort to deflate avant-garde orthodoxy and academism. Gilding ennobles the slender leaping creature, as does his perch atop a Minimalist pyramid of crossed steel battens.
“Third Grade Students Offer Impressions of Museum Tour.” Rappahannock Record, Kilmarnock, Virginia, May 8, 1997. (Np).
Brandt, Frederick R. Late 20th Century Art. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1985. (No. 29, p. 62-63).
Bohm, Hansi. "The Waddington." Artspeak 4, no. 24 (August 11, 1983). (P. 5).
Sculpture. London: Waddington Galleries, 1983. Exhibition catalogue. (Np).
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